Kevin Smith Benefits on Twitter By Being Too Fat to Fly

According to 24 hour news shows, the most important thing they could cover this past Monday morning was ongoing coverage of Kevin Smith’s Twittering of his removal from a Southwest flight for being too fat to fly. Looking back on things now, did @ThatKevinSmith’s ranting about Southwest’s policies have a positive or negative impact on Smith’s follower count?

Here’s a 3-month chart tracking the number of followers @ThatKevinSmith has on Twitter:

@ThatKevinSmith's Twitter Follower Count

Smith was steadily gaining around 3,000 followers every day of the week up until January 21st, when Twitter changed how they provided suggested user lists. It turns out that Smith wasn’t organically gaining an audience of 3,000 followers a day, but was picking up followers through the auto-adds – many of whom are spammers setting up thousands of accounts for various reasons.

After that change went into effect, Smith started losing around 1,000 followers a week. Again, these were not likely loyal fans that he was pissing off, but spammer accounts being removed or people who happened to auto-follow him out of the gate and realized later that he wasn’t what they were looking for on Twitter.

But then things changed when Southwest gave Smith the boot from a flight to Burbank. Suddenly, Smith was in the news and picking up followers at a high rate. Here’s a closer look:

@ThatKevinSmith's Twitter Follower Count

Overall, I think this has had a positive impact for Kevin Smith since the followers he’s picked up through this incident have more than made up for the followers he’s lost in the previous 3 weeks. Additionally, the quality of the followers he’s picked up surely trump the types of people he was accruing through Twitter’s suggested users list.

And what about Southwest Airlines? They’ve had a pretty good week too:

@SOUTHWESTAIR Followers on Twitter

No news is bad news?

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