Is it possible to follow someone on Twitter without them knowing?

  • I would have said a definite "no", but I've had people (bots?) turn up on my followers list without getting an e-mail so either a) some e-mails aren't getting through or b) yes there is.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 15:28
  • 1
    +1 Great question. I haven't ever really used Twitter until recently decided to follow one of the hosts of a favorite tech vidcast and I've been getting random follow requests from bots ever since. Commented Jul 8, 2010 at 2:05

5 Answers 5


If you use a feed reader such as Google Reader, you can subscribe to the RSS feed of the twitter user you want to "follow". Basically, it'll be like visiting their Twitter page, but you won't show up as a "follower" on Twitter.

  • 9
    This only works when the person you're trying to follow hasn't protected their updates. If they have (and you can program), you could write a simple bot to follow them (under some pretend name) and send you updates.
    – rbp
    Commented Sep 30, 2010 at 20:00
  • Wow. I never thought of that. +1 from me. I'd give more if I could. Commented Oct 5, 2010 at 12:47
  • 4
    This is no longer available since Twitter depreciated unauthenticated RSS feeds. Commented Jun 26, 2011 at 3:02

Put them on a private list. You can then just visit the list to see their tweets. You might want to also add the people you're actually following to that list and change your bookmark to point to it instead of Twitter's home page.

  • They will appear on your list which is kind of like following them Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 20:06
  • @Joe Phillips can they see that when the list is private? Commented Sep 30, 2010 at 21:31
  • I do not think so. This answer may have been revised at some point Commented Sep 30, 2010 at 21:40
  • 3
    @Joe: Unlikely. The answer has never been edited and your comment was 5 hours after the answer was posted. ;-)
    – Tomalak
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 11:53

If the account is unprotected and you're using Firefox, there's a plugin called TweetStalk that lets you stalk users instead of following them.

Stalk some peeps


You would have to do it manually (by going to their page and seeing what they post). You can't add their content to your homepage unless you follow them.

You could write an application that pulls your homepage content and mixes in their timeline content. You could also use a RSS reader to pull in multiple feeds (your homepage and their stream) into a single location.

Note: They will only be notified if they have notifications turned on, or they constantly monitor their list of followers to see if it is changing.


Jared Hardley's suggestion (RSS) is the way to go (for non-protected accounts). If you want the person's tweets plus any replies (which you can get in RSS via a search), you can use this Yahoo Pipe I created that mixes both things up: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=a9379d57504827fc594e71daeb54dd60

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.