What Twitter Can Learn from Google Reader

Written by Amit Agarwal on Mar 26, 2009

This Suggested Users page is probably the most controversial element of Twitter. Think of it as an exclusive club where an entry can help you gain thousands of new followers on Twitter in a single day.

Here’s a graph comparing the follower growth rate of select twitter profiles who also enjoy the "suggested" status.


Naturally, some web personalities like Dave Winer, Robert Scoble (again), Darren Rowse, etc. (all early adopters who sort of helped Twitter gain initial momentum) aren’t feeling very happy and their strong reaction has prompted Twitter co-founder Biz Stone to explain the criteria they use to determine who should be given entry into the elite club.

The selection is not entirely based on staff recommendations but if you are a celebrity or run a fairly popular blog, you have a higher chance of getting into the list.

Are Twitter Recommendations Any Good?

To know how useful these suggestions are, I created a new account on Twitter and it recommended me the following users – NBA, John McCain, Britt Selvitelle (User Experience Lead at Twitter), Jason Goldman (Twitter employee), 10 Downing Street and a couple more.


Since I am mostly interested in technology related stuff, these "official" suggestions were more of "noise" to me than anything "useful".

What Can Twitter Do?

If you have ever used Google Reader before, you probably know about "feed bundles" – a set of 8-10 web feeds related to a particular topic that you can subscribe to all at once. Feed Bundles are again "official" suggestions from Google but, unlike Twitter, they aren’t created or approved manually.

Twitter needs similar "user bundles" so that a new person can easily find out (and follow) other popular users who "tweet" on topics that may interest him or her.


Related: Do Interesting Things with Twitter

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