22 January 2010 | Team Tamar

Twitter improve ‘suggested users’ list – now based on algorithm

“Good news everybody!”

News reaches us from Twitter HQ (well – via their blog anyway) that the ‘Suggested users’ function has now been improved to give a better experience to new users. Here’s how Twitter’s Josh explained the changes:

“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.”

The new, algorithm-based system will replace the old system, which essentially involved a reasonably long list of high-profile twitter users. Speculation has been rife for a long time that the old system was being revamped, with accusations of unfairness at how users were selected for the list. As well as the obvious boost that twitter users get when featured on the list, people have also observed that the actual benefit you get from having millions of people following you is actually negligible, as a lot of these users are inactive after the first week, giving you a large chunk of followers who will never actually engage with you.

The makers are promising that the new lists will be updated on a regular basis, with the new “Staff picks” category providing an extra way for users to get on the list (other than just being very high profile or famous).

Anyway, I’m off to start engaging with all the Twitter staff I can find – unfortunately they neglected to give me a list for that purpose…!

Team Tamar