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Twitter working on new feature to help discover people your friends are following

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Twitter wants to help you find new people, and convince you to connect with important strangers, and according to a few reports, the network has a plan on helping you do that. According to Business Insider, vice president of product at Twitter Michael Sippey, divulged a new Twitter feature that its engineers have been working on to help drive people-discovery.

While there isn’t any word on how the feature will look on Twitter and how it’ll be implemented, Sippey shared with the audience at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit that Twitter will highlight a certain individual from the Twitter-sphere that many of your friends, for one reason or another, all started following. You’ll then receive a direct message alerting you of this trend and the rising social media star in question.

marketingland twitter user recommendation

Whether or not the timing was coincidental, Marketing Land’s Matt McGee also published a first-hand look at what this user recommendation feature will look like after noticing CEO Dick Costolo’s public plug of the Twitter account @MagicRecs. The Twitter account, which obviously belongs to the Twitter development team, may be a test product of sorts to tweak its algorithms. If you browse to the profile page, recent tweets suggest that the team hasn’t quite refined the product just yet, and they’re “continuing to adjust/tune [their] algorithms.” However we’d be hard pressed to believe that Twitter would ask users to follow a Twitter account to get the full benefits of its user recommendations, so it’s likely something of a test. 

@MagicRec’s bio says that its followers won’t see more than three direct messages per day, so don’t worry about getting spammed by the account.

The product may still be experimental at this stage, even if a handful of key Twitter employees have already asked their followers to follow @MagicRecs. But this feature is great news for brands in particular if you look at the opportunities Twitter has to monetize the feature.

Contests hosted on Twitter are common, and the point of these contests most of the time is to pick up new followers. Should a few of your friends end up following a Twitter account hosting a contest in a short period of time, their usernames and the name of the brand account will pop up in a DM. At the same time, granted that Twitter keeps its policy of messaging users up to three times a day, Twitter might want to look into charging the brands who want to be bumped up to priority listing so that their username is displayed in the direct message for the day.

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