Twitter Adds 'Suggestions For You' Tool To Help You Find Cool People To Follow (And Fails Miserably)
To Twitter’s credit, they keep trying stuff like this. Unfortunately, despite their best intentions, it never really works out how they intended.
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. The trouble is finding all of them. Today we’re beginning to roll out a simple, but powerful new feature to help address that — “Suggestions for You”. The algorithms in this feature, built by our user relevance team, suggest people you don’t currently follow that you may find interesting. The suggestions are based on several factors, including people you follow and the people they follow. You’ll see these suggestions on Twitter.com and the Find People section. If you like a suggestion, click “follow”; if you don’t, click “hide,” and we’ll try not to suggest that user again.
I tried this, of course, and was presented with the usual suspects – about half a dozen people I’d long since unfollowed, one who had blocked me, several more I have absolutely zero interest in and – ahem – Fearne Cotton. To be fair, they did identify a work colleague I wasn’t following, so well done there.
Perhaps you’ll fair better than I did. However, I’m going to hazard a guess that – much like the ‘people you might know’ suggestions on Facebook (I very, very, very rarely do) – no matter how smart your people are, their friend-finding algorithms are never quite smart enough.
Relationships can’t, and let’s be honest here, never should be identifiable by moving some numbers around a piece of paper. It just doesn’t work like that. And I suspect that’s something we should be really grateful about.
PS. You’ll also find a ‘who to follow’ addition in the top right-hand corner of your Twitter.com homepage. Click ‘view all’ to go straight to your Suggestions For You tab.