Blog Post

Does Twitter Know You Better Than You Know Yourself?


Many people check out Twitter for business news, trending stories, and to follow people, brands, etc. Recently, Twitter announced that they’re curating content for you into your Twitter feed. We wanted to shed light on whether or not this change will make Twitter more usable. Watch this Daily Brown Bag to learn about this Twitter feed change, how retweets and who you follow play a role in this update, how this Twitter algorithm change will impact user experience, and how this Twitter update might benefit you!

Also available on YouTube.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we're going to be talking about Twitter and their latest update for curated posts in your feed. I'm Chad Hill. I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Hey, good afternoon, welcome to the Brown Bag. Yeah, Twitter has made a big announcement, Chad. They're revealing that they will now curate content for you which is a pretty big departure for how things have been. And everyone's pretty familiar with the process of following people and pushing all of this information into your Twitter feed. But they're saying now that following people is really only the first step in the content you'll be able to see on the very popular Twitter platform.

There is pushing now to have an algorithm, much like many other platforms, that will help you not miss relevant tweets that you might be interested in from people who you don't know or didn't choose to follow. And they've been testing this idea, Chad, because this is a pretty big departure from how the Twitter platform works, and they're pretty confident that this new approach will actually be quite useful for folks.

Now of course, we've heard this discussion before, you know, and people are very familiar with Facebook has now an algorithm on what it shows you. In fact, even Amazon has an algorithm for what products it wants to show you. Of course, Google we talk about their algorithm all the time. But in the Twitter world they're going to be using things like what you've retweeted on Twitter, who you follow, and profiles of who they follow to try to shape this up to be even more usable for you. So I think the big question is will this make the platform more usable.

Yeah, I think time will only really tell, Adam. This is a really interesting update because I know that Twitter is trying to broaden its reach and the user base that it's able to work with. It's a fairly tech savvy platform even today. And I think that really what we're going to see here is something that's very similar to what, as you said, Twitter already has, what’s called promoted tweets. So that same platform is recommending content to you. They're going to be extending that to become part of the organic feed that you're seeing.

And I think really the question here and the feedback at this point is that the purists are kind of mad, and this happens pretty much every time we see a big change as these companies start off. And the purists are in there, and as they seek revenue and seek a wider audience and start making these changes, you know, the purists are sort of alienated. But a lot of people are saying, "Look, the thing I like about Twitter is that it's always a chronological feed of the people I follow, and the minute you start putting other stuff in there, it confuses me. I don't like it, and I just find it less useful."

So the big question I guess, Adam, is will it be more or less useful, and then ultimately, do you really think Twitter can create a better news feed and curate your content better than you're able to do today?

Yeah, interesting points. I'm sure Twitter is eyeing Facebook, and we just covered some of these statistics in a Brown Bag earlier this week, Chad. Facebook was the number one place for social media sharing. Twitter had the number two place for social media sharing, and I'm sure Twitter wishes it was the other way around. So this is probably one thing they're thinking will propel them to even greater popularity. And as a casual user, I like this change because I find the process of finding people and vetting them and figuring out who to follow actually quite tedious, and I wish it could just suggest things.

But I think you're right, there's probably a lot of users who are super, duper power users and already have their following list really well dialed in, and maybe we'll see this as intrusive, which makes me think there'll be further iterations. Maybe they'll allow you to have some knobs to tune this or turn it off altogether. It will be interesting to stay tuned and watch.

I would like your comments. Let us know. Do you think Twitter's useful Do you use it? Do you think this change is welcome and then, as always, we would really like you to subscribe to our videos.