On 28th April, I published this blog, challenging myself to grow a twitter bot account to 1000 followers in 100 days. Well, I HUGELY underestimated the possibilities. I managed to get to 750 followers in just 21 days!
Beautify This! is a simple twitter bot that takes beautiful screenshots of tweets. To use it, all I had to do is mention
@poet_this screenshot under any tweet and it will reply.
Earlier, the bot was powered by https://poet.so. And it was a selenium script that was really, really inefficient and super costly to host. So, I created my own custom image generator to do the same.
Since I did it using Python Image Library, it was quite challenging and I had to come up with interesting algorithms to, for example, vertically extend the tweet template based on the number of lines of the tweet itself. Now, I had reasonable hosting costs and a good enough script to be made into a twitter bot.
I've been growing my own twitter account since almost a year now (created it 3 years ago). In all these 3 years, I got 150 amazing followers, friends and stories to tell. But well, you know, that's kinda a small number, isn't it? It is extremely difficult to grow a twitter account ... or is it? I thought.
I don't know. I just wanted a challenge where I manage to do something I thought was impossible.
Jumping in, I had no idea how to do this. I mean, I knew that more the people use it, the more publicity it will get. But how to spread the word?
This was also the time when I was super, super burnt out. I didn't have any motivation to code and I really had nothing to do (I don't watch movies, TV shows, I don't go out with friends).
Here's a timeline of how it went: Day 1 to 5 : 30 followers. It was just me using the bot everywhere on twitter. People noticed, people followed. But I was behind my goal.
The growth started to drastically slow down, I almost gave up.
But on day 5, I used the bot on an Elon Musk's Tweet. Luckily, it was literally 10 seconds after he posted the tweet (i genuinely wanted a screenshot to share to friends lol) And HOLY SHIT! 5 followers, 10 followers, by the end of the day, I already had 70 followers! I had a trick now. Just turn on the notifications for Elon musk and (lmao) use the bot like anyone else would. This was amazing to spread visibility.
The bot got many, many loyal users now. Users who would use the bot on every one of their posts. by the 10th day, I already had about 150 followers.
I was now confident that I can probably hit the mark in 30 days. So I changed the about me of the bot to 30 (growth started slowing down again and I though 50 is a more realistic number) at this point.
by the 15th day, I had about 300 followers. Now, I don't know what the hell happened, maybe someone else used the bot on a very popular tweet, but people started supporting the challenge a LOT. I got emails, DMs, and what not - soon enough, I woke up to 400 followers (on about the 17th day). Since then, every single day, the bot has been getting (almost) 100 followers.
Today is the 21th day. It just hit 750 followers, and almost gonna hit 800! Help me get to 1000 followers in ... 30 DAYS!
I also faced a ton of challenges. Like, the high usage meant that hosting costs also went up. Since the bot is image generation, a lot of image generation, I have to shut it down for some time to save costs. Whenever I'm on the laptop watching videos or relaxing, I turned on the notifications for twitter and listened to pings. And then used the IMGEN script on my own computer and manually sent the result image. Yeah...
Whenever someone used the bot in a wrong way, I manually send them messages on the correct usage, or sometimes just sent the screenshot manually.
Twitter flagged and muted many of the bot tweets, even though it's a "good" bot and has the automated tag. But it's understandable.
How you can help.
First of all, give a follow! https://twitter.com/poet_this. this will help it reach 1000 followers in less than 30 days.
You can also financially support me, so I don't have to ask my parents to pay for the hosting https://ko-fi.com/dhravya
Also, the bot is open source (The API, however, isn't open source yet. Still working on the API where the actual image generation happens and it has a lot of bugs)