Twitter has just pushed a new feature called Connections, displaying users that you have in common with other users. The main focus of Connections is the display of users that follow both accounts and what users you both follow. The new feature is displayed in the sidebar of any user profile, and Connections features are also available in the Followers and Following tabs within a profile.
Connections has evolved from the “Followed By” and “You Both Follow” features, and is now focused into one area called “Connections”. Individual features are expandable and you are able to see a complete list of mutual followers by clicking the “more” link. Connections makes engaging easier for new Twitter adopters, especially those who haven’t been involved in social networks in the past.
Carolyn Penner from Twitter explains the idea behind Conenctions, “By exposing accounts that you and another user have in common, you will now know how those accounts are connected to other accounts you already follow. As a result, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about which accounts to follow.”
Having mutual followers listed for you is a huge advancement when it comes to your social media marketing strategy, especially if you’re already adding and categorizing users in your personal Twitter Lists. Connections will make it much easier to focus and segment users that you’re already following, and because Twitter generates the mutual list itself, this can be done relatively quickly and painlessly. If you shift your perspective to that of a user, are you more likely to engage with a mutual friend or follower? You bet! Use this feature to focus your engagement.
Connections is a fantastic new feature when you break it down to an algorithmic level, too. It’s considerably more complex to add and measure Connections compared to a site such as Facebook, which suggests mutual friends. On Twitter, you have lists, followers, and followed users. Twitter is open and vast – there’s a serious amount of data to crunch because of it. This has made things more difficult during Connections implementation, which is possibly why we saw it rolled out separately as “Followed By” and “You Both Follow”.
If you consider the relationship structure between Twitter accounts, calculating one way connections and relevancy to other users is no easy task. However, this complexity also opens doors for a wide range of new features. As for now, no other plans are being made to extend the Connections functionality, but it will be interesting to see what happens when Connections hits the API for third party developers.
What do you think of Connections so far? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!