By Allison Stadd on June 20, 2013 1:00 PM
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Posts Tagged ‘Suggested Users’
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Yesterday, my article about the measurable benefits of Twitter’s suggested user list (SUL) attracted quite a lot of attention, both within this blog and around the internet. This was furthered by some interesting comments from those I mentioned in my piece.
The thing is – it’s very easy to rag all over something as obviously bunk as Twitter’s SUL, without actually suggesting an alternative. Hence, and in the interests of balance, here are three ways I think that the suggested user list could be significantly improved.
Twitter could radically improve the value of the SUL by personalising it to the new user. This would be best accomplished by asking questions about interests, hobbies, sport and club affiliations, employment, etc, during set-up, to build a richer profile in order to best match recommendations. The very basic 160-character ‘bio’ that we have now is pretty useless.
Twitter would scan your data, and recommend 20-50 users for the new user to follow to get started. This would not be pre-selected in any way. If you didn’t like the list, maybe you could click the button and Twitter would roll the dice again.
These more in-depth profiles would remain private and would only be analysed when looking for follower recommendations.
Twitter could continue to use a pre-selected list of a few hundred suggested users, but instead of just giving you a random selection of these when you sign up, Twitter would tailor the list to your interests. This could be accomplished through the use of a richer profile set-up (as above), or by simply asking a few questions each time you require more suggested users to follow.
These are the best Twitter stories of the past seven days. Did you see all this cool stuff?
(This is a new weekly feature. Click here for last week.)
Happy Birthday Twitter!
Twitter turned three years old on Saturday, 21 March, and much celebration was to be had. The party was great, wasn’t it? All that free beer and food, the dancing girls were amazing, and that preview of Iron Man 2 was unreal.
What? Oh. Ah. Awkward. Maybe your invite ended up in your spam folder?
The 14 Types of Twitter Personalities
A little less than a month ago, Twitter.com implemented a new feature to their homepage: suggested users.
The idea was that new users to Twitter often don’t immediately understand how to use the service and a percentage of accounts were following few people or nobody at all. Now, when somebody signs up to the network they’re presented with a list of 100 recommendations. You can also access this list at any time via the Find People link on the home page.
This feature has been highly controversial. The benefits of being placed on this list are immediate and rewarding: more followers. A lot more followers.
Why Being On The Suggested Users List Matters
Earlier this month I wrote about the events surrounding @adventuregirl, who went from less than a couple of hundred followers to almost forty thousand in six days, simply by being added to the suggested users list. As of the time of writing, @adventuregirl now has 146,336 followers. She is still on the list.
(For more on this, see my article: “Oh, How I Wish I Could Be A Suggested User, Too.”)
This isn’t an isolated incident. Everybody on this list has seen an enormous boost in their follower counts. This is a big deal, particularly if you’re a brand or have something to sell or promote. The race to one million followers continues, and those on the suggested user list have been given a nice push by the Twitter founders.
From 193 followers on February 26, to 37,945 as of the time of writing. In a week. And she’s been a member of Twitter since August 6, 2008. (To fully appreciate the madness, check out the 3-month chart.)
That’s pretty impressive, right?
Or is it? @craigteich, for one, seemed pretty pissed.
Initially, the feeling – and I dare say, the blame – was that @adventuregirl must have benefitted from being placed on Twitter.com’s very controversial ‘Suggested Users’ list, which anybody can access via the ‘Find People’ tab on the home page.