Twitter has only been on the web since 2006, and it is only in the last year or so that its popularity has really spiraled out of control. Now, countless celebrities are on Twitter and just about any global corporation uses the social networking site – there’s two types of Tweeters: one type who post random, meaningless-to-everyone-but-their-friends tweets to let people know what they’re doing, which ironically was the original idea of Twitter, and the other, who are using it to promote their content and their business. Some, however, are doing it better than others. And according to HubSpot, an analyitics-type, “inbound marketing software” company with over 2,000 businesses looking for tips to optimize their sales and grow their traffic, those users who have a display picture have a much better chance of gaining followers.

The company says that, after analyzing nine million Twitter profiles through its feature which allows Tweeters to grade the effectiveness and popularity of their Twitter feed, users who have a personalized profile picture are much more likely to get a considerable number of followers opposed to those who don’t. In fact, on average, Twitter accounts which have a profile picture set have ten times the number of followers than those who do not.

Dan Zarrella posted on HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog that “it’s a good idea to upload a picture of yourself” if you want to get more followers on the site. And if I’m honest, I believe that Dan is 100% correct. The only problem that some people have is that they are an independent blogger, who doesn’t want to have their picture spilled onto the internet and want to focus on their writing. Some people are plain camera shy – and those blogs that don’t have a logo are at a loose end as to what to upload. On the other hand, I wouldn’t personally want to follow somebody who didn’t have a profile picture, mainly because it doesn’t shout individuality out to me. I can’t connect or identify with a Twitter account, or a Facebook user, or an account on YouTube if I see a small bird as the avatar, or a strangely familiar, yet rather scary, gray silhouette without a face in the shape of a man or a woman, or a gray camera as the display picture. It just isn’t appealing, and it can spark the impression that you are totally uninteresting.

I suppose in a way, however, I’m a slight hypocrit. I’ve lately not had a display picture on my Twitter feed for this blog as I searched for a suitable avatar. Not just that, but my Twitter feed isn’t largely followed either. So perhaps, that’s the reason. Therefore, I’m going to try a little experiment. I’m going to upload a display picture to my Twitter account, and we’ll see how many more followers I gain. A comment posted on the blog entry at HubSpot by Iain Duigan says that within 36 hours of putting up a photograph of himself, he went from “61 followers to 195”. Let’s see if this success carries on for our technology blog here.

Do you have a Twitter account? Do you lack a profile picture? Has this revelation sparked you to upload one? What do you find more effective? Have you seen your follower count increase thanks to an identifiable picture? Are you one of the camera shy who doesn’t like their own photo on a blog, account or Twitter feed? Are you shocked by these figures? What do you have to say, let us know in a comment.

You can read the blog post on HubSpot by clicking here.

You can follow the Internet Nut blog on Twitter for the latest news in technology with hints, tips, tricks, analysis and updates of posts to this blog. And, it does now have a display picture!