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Today I read in the news that a man by the name of Noah Kravitz was really successful in the past while working, tweeting and blogging as an employee for Phonedog, a popular mobile phone site. He managed to accumulate the impressive number of 17,000 Twitter followers during his time at the company . Now, he is being sued for keeping these followers also after he left Phonedog. There are various versions explaining more in detail what has been going on so I won’t comment on moral, ethics and ownership of these followers as, well, a court will rule on that in the future. But what is very interesting to see is the value that Phonedog attributes to each of their Twitter followers – it is as much as $30 per follower and year.
This is really impressive and ridiculously unrealistic. It is also right and wrong at the same time. Let me explain.
The suing company actually states that their ‘damage’ is as high as $2.50 per follower and month which would end up to a theoretical value of $30 per follower and year. Of course this is just a theoretical value. As there is no court ruling yet, we don’t even know if this claim holds true and if the court really applies this or a similar value for a user. But, if two parties fight in court over Twitter followers (or any other followers of social media sites), this shows that they are fighting over something definitely valuable and this confirms my thesis made previously.
To continue, let’s just assume a more ‘moderate’ price of $15 per follower and year. By the time I wrote about Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter followers, he stood at 8,070,032 followers – which would correspond to a value of $121,050,480 – over a hundred million dollars! While I am writing this article, his Twitter followers are closer to 9 million (8,913,879 to be exact) which means he’s accumulated another 843,847 followers in the last two months alone, a value of over $1,000,000 per month! You see that these figures are ridiculously high. All that is just hot air for the moment but of course one cannot deny that there has in fact been created value here. So even if they settle for a fraction of the $2.50 per follower and month, let’s say for 25 cents, Ashton Kutcher would be several million dollars richer than he already is and can grow his ‘follower wealth’ by approximately $200,000 per month.
It is kind of crazy when you consider how much work it takes to bring home $200,000 per month. I don’t expect the court to accept a figure anywhere near that area but the good news is some way or the other we will learn how much a Twitter follower is worth. At least to Phonedog and poor Noah Kravitz.