Twitter is rolling out its @MagicRecs algorithmic ‘helper’ that is designed to help users miss less of the things they may deem to be important and also recommend other accounts to follow based on recommendations, to the Twitter masses.
The Twitter blog describes it this way
If you’re like me, you occasionally feel like you’re missing out on some of the day’s great Tweets, or that you’re the last to find out when someone awesome joins Twitter. We wanted to tackle that problem. With this new feature, you’ll receive personalized recommendations when multiple people in your network follow the same user or favorite or retweet the same Tweet.
We built this feature based on an experimental account, @MagicRecs. As its bio notes, @MagicRecs “sends instant, personalized recommendations for users and content via direct message”. Over time, we’ve been tweaking the algorithms –– based on engagement and your feedback –– in order to send only the most relevant updates.
It’s important to note that Twitter is looking to become more attractive to a wider audience than it currently has. In other words, it wants to go mainstream. Let’s call it what it really is though. Twitter NEEDS to go mainstream. Why? The talk of an IPO, that’s why. In order to get the type of valuation and successful IPO they hope for the service is going to have to show the capacity for growth. Many wonder if the way the service works will limit who uses effectively. Even after years of using myself I still find it to be ‘too much’ more often than not. I wonder how many more folks feel that way.
Twitter needs to make the service more accessible though and they know it.
And that brings us to today –– after getting great feedback, we’re bringing this functionality to more users. Twitter for Android and Twitter for iPhone users will receive recommendations via a push notification. As with any notification, you can change your settings at any time; you can turn these notifications off or on with the “Recommendations” toggle in your notifications settings.
Anything Twitter does from here until the IPO will be pointed directly at that event. At what speed the change and innovation comes will be interesting to watch. In the end, though it’s all driven by getting more audience, selling more advertising and showing that there is big upside potential with the service.
In the end, it should give advertisers more opportunity to reach certain segments. One thing I have think, though, (and this is purely a personal observation solely base on ‘gut’ and nothing more) is that in the back of everyone’s mind is the nagging thought that maybe Twitter isn’t for the mainstream. Maybe expecting adoption numbers like those of Facebook is not even remotely realistic. I don’t see it ever appealing to that many people but I could certainly be wrong. After all of these years, though, and the greater acceptance of social media as a true way to communicate, you would think more people might have caught on by now.
What do you think?