Facebook’s upcoming IPO might be the talk of the social media world this week, but Twitter’s hoping to make a bit of its own buzz.
The social media company has just announced some new ways that it will be experimenting with making it easier for you to find more relevant users to follow.
“Currently, when new users come to Twitter, we show them all almost the same suggestions for what or who to follow. That isn’t ideal,” Twitter’s Director of Growth and International, Othman Laraki, said on Twitter’s blog today.
Twitter is now going to do more to find suggestions that make sense for you based on what it knows about you, including the websites you visit. Whether you are new to Twitter or already a user, you might start to see more tailored suggestions in the “Who to Follow” area on Twitter’s website. According to Twitter, these suggestions “are built on accounts followed by other Twitter users and visits to websites in the Twitter ecosystem.” This is aided by Twitter’s tweet buttons and tie in with other sites.
“We receive visit information when sites have integrated Twitter buttons or widgets, similar to what many other web companies — including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube — do when they’re integrated into websites,” Twitter said. For instance, it now might now suggest you follow ABC News if you happen to read an ABC News story or see a video. It will know you were there because there is a Twitter button on the page.
Twitter will also be revamping the follow page for new users. It will display suggestions for users to follow, along with a timeline of tweets so new users can actually see the content of the tweets.
But Twitter said it is emphasizing user choice above all.
“For those who don’t want to tailor Twitter, we offer ways to turn off this collection,” Laraki said in his post. Additionally, today Twitter announced that it will be teaming up with Firefox to provide a Do Not Track button in the browser.
“If you have DNT enabled in your browser settings, we will not collect the information that enables this feature, so you won’t see any tailored suggestions,” the post said.
Twitter will also be adding an option to “Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits” so users can enable or disable this function.
According to Twitter, the “tailored suggestions” features are just an experiment for now and will be limited at first.