Twitter Suggested Users Sending Follower Boosts To High-Profile Accounts

Posted Feb 21, 2009

Twitter has a feature that is similar to Facebook’s “Friends You May Know” and LinkedIn’s “People You May Know.”  This feature has been very effective in terms of high-profile users getting a ton more followers.  To find out who Twitter is suggests for you, visit this website:

When users sign up, they are shown featured personalities such as The Guardian, Felicia Day, TechCrunch, CNN, NYT, Dell, and Rainn Wilson.  Twitter started endorsing certain personalities in mid-January.  The Guardian went from about 4,000 followers to 66,000 in about a month.  Felicia Day went from 20,000 to 83,000.  TechCrunch went from 41,000 to 111,000.  The New York Times jumped to 145,000.

“The reason we created this feature is because lots of people sign up to Twitter but aren’t following anyone, so we’re trying to help get them started,” stated Williams in a comment on Brook Bayne’s blog.

Many people believe that this interferes with Twitter’s organic growth.  The suggested user system wasn’t exactly ideal accoring to Stone.  “Right now it’s sort of like staff picks at your local bookstore,” stated Stone in an e-mail with the L.A. Times. “Later, we hope to make this smarter.”

It won’t be done for a while because improving suggested users aren’t exactly the highest on the priority list.  Although I think this is pretty important because it seems like the friends of Twitter benefit from the suggested users while the rest get shafted.