Twitter Gives Politically Correct Explanation Over Suggested Users

Posted Mar 28, 2009

The Suggested Users feature on Twitter is getting a lot of buzz.  A study revealed that those who were on the list for suggested users on the microblogging service receives a sudden influx of followers.  Jason Calacanis even made a $250,000 offer to be added to the list of suggested users.

Up until now, there hasn’t been an explanation about how Twitter chooses the list of suggested users.  Twitter co-founder Biz Stone offered a politically correct explanation on the Twitter blog about how they choose suggested users:

We’ve explained that the Suggested Users list is a bit like your local book store’s staff picks but there’s a little more to it than that. Our Chief Scientist developed a program that scans active Twitter accounts for a bunch of key ingredients such as how much of the profile is filled out, certain indications that the account is interesting to others in some respects, and a few other signals.

If the company suggests a celebrity or business, they ensure that it is a real account.

Stone mentioned that if you want to be added to the list of suggested users, filling out your profile information in the account settings is a good start.  The company may get rid of the feature if they find an alternative way to get the job done.

I’ve got mixed feelings towards the feature.  I think that they should suggest only mainstream news companies and a couple of other online publications.  For example, they should suggest you to follow BreakingNewsOn, CNN, BBC, New York Times, and Wired.  I think that if you are in a certain zip code, the feature should recommend local newspapers too.  But to make individual, mainstream blogs, and celebrities suggested users on Twitter just seems wrong.

There are other Twitter users out there that have more to offer than some of the pinheads that are suggested.

[via Twitter Blog]