How to answer the question “When did he follow me?”

I get lots of followers on Twitter. Sometimes they’re famous tech writers or actors. When someone like that follows you, you may not always notice a push notification or other message informing you of that. For example, I had no idea Walt Mossberg had followed me until I decided to scroll thorough my followers list. I couldn’t tell you when he followed me. I have no idea. I do know when Adam Baldwin followed me, though. It was at 2:46 AM on April 18, 2012. I know that because the email is timestamped.

If you want to get an email every time someone follows you, just head on over to your Twitter account, go to the settings page, click on the notifications link in the sidebar, and turn on the emails for new followers. Now as soon as someone follows you, you’ll get an email informing you of that, like the one you see above.

Of course, emails are annoying, and the ones from Twitter are the worst. If a horde of spambots follow you, like what happened to me the other day, well… it’s a pain. Don’t worry though, I know how to fix that. Hit the link below to keep reading.

To fix this problem, all you need is a Gmail account. First, set your Gmail address as the email associated with your Twitter account. Then go over to the Gmail web page and hit the Settings button. Look for the tab called Filters (it’s the fourth one), and then create a new filter. For the search criteria, just enter “You have a new follower on Twitter” in the box marked “Has the words” and click the button at the bottom of the popup window to continue. Next check the boxes for “Skip the inbox (Archive it)”, “Mark as read”, and “Apply the label”. Then select the drop-down menu next to “Apply the label” and hit “New label”. Name this whatever you want. It will be the folder that all of your Twitter follower emails go to. I called mine “Twitter”. Then click the button at the bottom to create the label and you’re all set.

Next, you’ll want to repeat this setup with the phrase “you have new followers on Twitter” for the rule as well. This is because Twitter now sends different email subjects depending on whether you had multiple followers that day, or just one.

From now on, Twitter will email you when you get a new  follower, and the email will automatically be marked as read and moved to the folder you created. You’ll never see one follower email in your inbox again. Any time you want to see when someone followed you, just search the folder for their username. The email will have a timestamp from the very minute they followed you.

This post was updated with the new email subject line after Twitter decided to change the emails a few hours after this post was published.

Wow, they added yet another freaking email template. Updated the post to reflect that.