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Twitter’s latest move to keep users engaged on its site: a new tool that suggests other members users might want to follow “based on several…

Twitter Addiction
photo: Flickr / carrotcreative

Twitter’s latest move to keep users engaged on its site: a new tool that suggests other members users might want to follow “based on several factors, including people you follow and the people they follow.” The launch comes as Twitter has taken other steps to make itself more accessible and interesting to members, including launching a guide on how to use the site, along with a new homepage that features an always-refreshing list of “Top tweets,” scrolling trending topics as well as mugs of popular Tweeters.

In terms of suggesting users to follow, however, Twitter wasn’t doing much. Under “Find people,” members currently can select general topics they’re interested in — like Art & Design or Technology — in order to see suggestions of people to follow who tweet about those areas. The recommendations, however, are not customized; rather, they are pre-selected (presumably) by Twitter staff members.

Twitter is also putting its new suggestion tool much more front-and-center than the so-called “Browse Interests” feature. While users will be able to find the customized recommendations under “Find people,” they will also see recommendations for similar users when they go to another member’s profile.

Twitter says it’s introducing the feature because “with more than a hundred million users on Twitter, there are sure to be at least dozens of accounts out there that will reflect your interests” but it can be a “trouble” to find them. (App stores have reported similar problems with discoverability and are coming up with their own solutions to solve it.)

About a year ago, there were various metrics circulating that showed that while Twitter was having no problems signing up new members, it was having difficulty retaining them — possibly because they couldn’t find interesting people to follow. Those reports, however, have died off.

  1. I find myself wondering why there can’t be technology akin to Netflix recommendation engine. “You like this Twitterer, therefore you may like this one ..”. An algorithm could sort by content, proximity in subject matter/geography, proximity of connections to others u follow, etc.

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