Recently, I’ve come across several people who’ve abandoned Twitter off-late because they feel its losing mass appeal. There are no major changes, no enhancements and Twitter lacks an efficient PR regime unlike Facebook and Google+. However, I don’t think that makes Twitter a 2nd fiddle to any other social network. What do I admit is that Twitter needs to get more personal and “contextual”.
I believe Twitter took a huge step in that direction when it launched the new user interface last year with the Twitter ‘Discover’ tab. Back then, I still believed Twitter needs to do more on the personalization front to offer a truly contextual experience. Therefore, when I came to know that Twitter is making the ‘Discover’ tab experience truly personal – I couldn’t help but feel that it’s better late than never.
How will it work?
Like all things Twitter, the new personalized discovery feature will be extremely simple to use. When you see a story in Discover that interests you, you can click “view tweets” to see popular tweets from your network. Recent, relevant Tweets are displayed directly below the story summary. Therefore, you don’t get overburdened with tweets from irrelevant people or out of context tweets.
All users like to given special attention and they appreciate a personalized experience. While the Discover tab was a great addition to discover information that matters to you without having to follow additional accounts, it lacked true personalization. Now, this tab will feature tweets which are ranked by the strength of connections between users. Discover will also take into account content shared from friends of friends. So, all content you see is more personalized than earlier.
Users tend to relate better with their friends and followers than with strangers. This latest update will let Twitter seeks out URLs shared by an individual’s immediate or circle of followers and then convert them into stories which get ranked by tweets and relationships. All in all, Twitter will be a lot more contextual than earlier.
Facebook does it. Google does it for its search feed. Personalization is more of a norm rather than an exception in Internet and social media circles these days. So, there’s no reason why Twitter should stay aloof from the benefits of personalization.
The feature is expected to be available “in the coming weeks” on the Twitter.com Website, and will subsequently find its way onto Twitter’s iPhone and Android apps.
I personally think Twitter’s efforts to launch contextual discovery will be appreciated by most Twitter users. What do you think? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.