The New Twitter Features
By: Joe Prasad
Category: Social Media
June 15, 2012
Twitter has been continually working to make its deceptively simple 140 character interface more attractive to users as well as making it more useful. While we haven’t seen much lately, that has all changed in the past few weeks. Twitter has been working in the background and has unveiled a new logo as well as perhaps the most user friendly new Twitter feature coming in the form of Twitters Tailored Trends.
The new logo is a simplified version of “Larry” the iconic Twitter bird which has also dropped the text, bubbled typeface and lowercase “t”. The Tailored Trends are decidedly more interesting and useful to users, in my opinion. As reported by Sara Mauskopf, a Product Manager at Twitter, the company is finally ready to roll out changes which provide customization for trending topics.
Why New Tailored Trends?
Since its inception, Twitter has provided users with information about trending topics, those topics that are most tweeted about, for over 150 locations worldwide. This meant if you wanted to find out what was trending in Los Angeles, Bangkok, or Berlin you could simply change your location. Starting June 13th, 2012 that is all going to change. You can still access the location based trends, but Twitter is taking trends to the next level with something they are calling Tailored Trends.
The new customized trends are a combination of your location and the people you are following on Twitter. Twitter has made the new Tailored Trends the default for your trends, but they have left the option to change your location if you don’t want to see the tailored trends.
Isn’t This Similar to #Discovery?
The new tailored trends are not too dissimilar from the Stories feature in #Discover that was rolled out last month. Stories is curation of the links that are most popular among the people you are following on Twitter. It has been a successful change for Twitter and was likely a beta test prior to rolling out Tailored Trends, which is a bit more comprehensive.
So, based on the success of Stories I think Tailored Trends will work well for Twitter. It seems to be a good way of highlighting things that may be of interest to individual users based on the way they currently use Twitter. The only criticism I’ve seen so far is that Twitter hasn’t done something like this earlier. It seems they are now on the right track to providing the content that users crave in a way that doesn’t change the core of what Twitter is.
It will be interesting to see what other types of changes Twitter might make going forward. While it has been not much more than a crowd sourced information source to this point, it looks as if changes are coming. With the addition of Stories and Tailored Trends Twitter appears to be positioning itself as more of a customized social network. Now, rather than just getting information through trending topics for my location, I have the option of getting information based on who I follow and my interests. Also, by using the lists feature of Twitter you can compartmentalize various interests, groups or locations. It seems like pretty powerful stuff to me.