Can I export/import people I follow on Twitter to new account?
April 12, 2018 2:41 AM   Subscribe

I have managed our research group's Twitter account for a few years. I have used it to follow around 400 people. Now someone else will be managing it and I will go back to using my old personal Twitter account. I would like to continue to follow those 400 people. Can I somehow export/import them?

I have found two partial solutions, neither of which is great. First, I could add all those people to a public list and then subscribe to that from my other account, which would be fine, as they all tweet on similar topics from public accounts. But I can't see a quick way to add 400 people to a list. It seems I'd have to click on each user in my following list and add them to the list one by one.

The second thing I found is a couple of (paid) tools for managing Twitter accounts that supposedly let you do things like exporting lists of followers/following. But they are subscription model and/or expensive, and have millions of Twitter management features I don't need. I just want to do this as a one-off thing.

Googling also mainly turns up info about keeping your followers when changing accounts, which I don't need to do. I care about the people I follow.

Any other solutions?
posted by lollusc to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
From your new account, just click on your old account's 'following' tab for a one page list of everyone you follow. Each person will have a follow button right there on that page. So you can just go down the line and click on all of the follows without leaving that one page. For 400 people it will only take two or three minutes.
posted by the webmistress at 5:35 AM on April 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

No, as far as I know, you have to manually do this. If the research group's Twitter account is public, this will be super easy and fast. Log into your personal account, go to the research group's account page, click on "following" and then click "follow" on every name and scroll down until you're done.

If for some reason it's private and you can't see who they follow, log into your old account in one browser (i.e. Firefox) and your new account in another (i.e. Chrome) and then I would go through the old list of who you're following and open them in the other browser and click "follow." It would take longer but would still be pretty easy. That said, you could just have the research group accept you as a follower and then it wouldn't be private to you anymore. Either way, I definitely wouldn't pay to do this.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:47 AM on April 12, 2018

Somewhat abbreviated version:

Log into existing Twitter account. Go to Copy and paste page contents into text file. Sort text file alphabetically so that all the @[handle]s float to the top. Delete everything else.

Before each Twitter handle, paste:

So that each handle is something like:

Paste list of URLs into a browser. (Chrome handles pastes of text URLs badly. Try Firefox for this.)

Log into new Twitter account.

Highlight 10 URLs at a time, right click, open all in tabs.

This url comes up in a fairly lightweight page that loads quickly. Put non-dominant hand on keyboard with hands over 'next tab' keystroke. Put dominant hand on mouse, position over 'Following' button. Quickly change between tabs with one hand while clicking the "Following" button on each page, which will be in the same spot on the screen.

Next batch of 10 until you're all done.
posted by WCityMike at 12:05 PM on April 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Um, before you get started, know that Twitter will start thinking your account is a bot or spammer if you follow too many people in too short of a period of time, and lock you out accordingly.

To follow 400 accounts, I would spread that out over a week or two, adding no more than 50 a day.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 8:08 PM on April 13, 2018

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