Changes Coming in the Twitter Suggested User List

by Hutch Carpenter

Twitter Suggested Users ListAt a conference in Malaysia, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said the Suggested Users List (SUL), a boon in followers for anyone on it, will be going away sometime in the future:

“That list will be going away,” Stone said at a conference in Malaysia. “In its stead will be something that is more programmatically chosen, something that actually delivers more relevant suggestions.”

See that term? – “Programmatically chosen” – Hmmm…

The SUL was hand picked by the staff of Twitter. Which meant if you weren’t included on the SUL, it felt like a snub if you had established a large presence on the service. It was also celebrity-heavy, which was nice if that’s your thing. But people have a range of interests beyond Hollywood and music.

How do you suppose suggested users will be be “programmatically chosen”? My guess is that is that this new reputation score we’ve been hearing about will be part of it.

More broadly, I could see incorporating the same criteria discussed previously in “Search Engine Tweet Ranking Algorithms” including:

  1. Relevancy of tweet stream to a subject
  2. Crowdsourced signals of authority
  3. Effectiveness in providing relevant content

Maybe a new user enters key words indicating areas of interest and the Twitter system returns a set of users to follow. Wouldn’t that be a better way?

This all raw speculation on my part. But it would be cool if they roll out a more effective way to match interests to people.

Hutch CarpenterHutch Carpenter is the Director of Marketing at Spigit. Spigit integrates social collaboration tools into a SaaS enterprise idea management platform used by global Fortune 2000 firms to drive innovation.

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