Twitter Delivers More Personalized Suggestions, Makes Life Simpler for New Users
Article by George Norman
On 26 Jan 2010
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone announced this autumn that the popular micro-blogging site would enhance the suggested users list. The goal, as Biz Stone said, is to come up with a feature that “actually delivers more relevant suggestions.” In other words, help new Twitter users get started with the service, find and discover things of interest to them.

That was back in November. It is now January and Biz Stone’s words have come true. Just a short while ago the Twitter team announced that its “making the first of many changes to help people ease into the twitterverse by finding and following accounts that interest them.”

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It would seem that new Twitter users have to face two challenges when they get started with the service. First they have to find accounts to follow – but not just any account, an account that appeals to their interests. Secondly they have to find friends that are already using the micro-blogging service.

To make things easier on these new users, Twitter suggests accounts to follow. When a new user signs up and selects things that interest him, Twitter presents a list of accounts that are connected to whatever interests the new user. Then, to help the new user get in touch with friends that are already using the micro-blogging service, Twitter checks the new user’s address books. Last but not least, the new user is given the opportunity to search for any friends that Twitter has missed.

“We've found that the power of suggestion can be a great thing to help people get started, but it's important that we suggest things relevant to them. We've created a number of algorithms to identify users across a variety of clusters who tweet actively and are engaged with their audiences. These new algorithms help us group these active users into lists of users by interests. Rather than suggesting a random set of 20 users for a new user to follow, now we let users browse into the areas they are interested in and choose who they want to follow from these lists. These lists will be refreshed frequently as the algorithms identify new users who should be suggested in these lists and some that are not as engaging to new users will be removed,” explained Twitter’s Josh Elman.



Tags: Twitter, Micro-blogging,
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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