There is a feature on Twitter that some people use to make their accounts private. Other people probably forgot people make their Twitter accounts private. It is not a popular practice, but the people with private accounts are getting hurt by a lot.
The first and biggest problem is that a request needs to be sent to someone before you can follow them. Clicking the Follow button is not enough to see the person’s tweets on your timeline. By the time someone with a private account approves a request, that person may have forgotten about the private account already. Having to send a request discourages people from clicking the follow button.
The second problem is that people often wondering why a private account needs to be private. It’s doubtful that information about nuclear weapons is being exchanged by the private accounts on Twitter. There are some private accounts that send out good tweets, but many of them send out tweets that they don’t want particular people to read. Even if you are a private account that tweets like any public account, you’re in the category of hiding something from the masses.
The third problem is that people looking at a private profile do not have strong motives towards following that person. The only motives someone has towards following a private account is the username, bio, and avatar. There are no tweets that will help out towards the decision of whether or not to click the follow button.
There will still be some people who will keep their accounts private, but do so at your risk. Private accounts may allow you to keep your tweets a secret from the public, but they don’t lead to an accumulation of followers.