Taming Twitter’s stream of endless data can be daunting, especially as you follow more people. But startup My6sense is bringing some order to the chaos with a new Chrome browser extension that prioritizes a user’s Twitter stream, making it relevant to a user’s tastes and interests.
The new feature, available Wednesday, builds off My6sense’s mobile applications, which take in a variety of social and RSS streams and personalizes it for mobile users. The new Twitter feature takes some of the same learnings but applies it just to Twitter. After enabling My6sense, a prioritized view of the stream appears in a new tab to the right on Twitter.com. Instead of a chronological listing of tweets, updates that are deemed relevant to a user rise to the top, regardless of their timeliness.
My6sense doesn’t require a user to set their preferences. It relies on “digital intuition” to see what topics or people a user follows, what links they’ve opened or retweeted. As such, it improves with continued usage as it learns a user’s preferences. This requires some trust early on, but it seems to get the idea of who and what is important to you. If you don’t care for My6sense’s suggestions, it’s easy to switch back to the normal timeline view. But using My6sense in Twitter is also helpful, because clicking on an update brings up a preview of a link on the right pane. Twitter already does this for some photos and videos but My6sense expands this functionality.
This seems like a natural way to handle the flood of information we’re increasingly encountering. While curation can certainly help narrow the list of links people should read, this type of more personalized data approach makes a lot of sense as services like My6sense are able to learn preferences on the fly and build credible profiles on a person’s tastes. You can hear more about interesting uses of data at our upcoming Structure Big Data conference March 23 in New York.
Louis Gray, the blogger turned My6sense VP of marketing, wrote in November that My6sense fits into what he called the third wave of the Web, in which the Internet is personalized for each person based on their preferences and tastes. Companies like Gravity and Hunch are also part of this wave, trying to take signals from users and build recommendations that are personalized for a user. This is where the future will likely go. We’re still going to hunt for information through search engines and our social networks will supply us with all manner of links and suggestions. But over the top of that, I expect we’ll see more services build upon the data they know about us to anticipate what we want and deliver recommendations and suggestions that meet our interests. We’re already seeing that in recommendation engines from Netflix and Pandora. Expect to see that extend across every part of the Web as My6sense and others look to organize it all for us.
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