Connecting with like people on Twitter has always been a difficult task. In the past we have been limited to Lists and the using Twitter’s search function to navigate and find like-users, but there have been third party tools to help us organize and categorize, guiding us in the right direction.
Over the past few months Twitter has made some big changes, primarily with the site layout itself, launching the #NewTwitter – a complete overhaul of the then existing site. Despite the quietness since the launch, they aren’t stopping there; Twitter is currently testing a new feature that acts as a personalized directory by suggesting like-users. The new tool doesn’t have a name at present, but people have reported seeing the header link displayed as “Directory” or “People” or “Who To Follow”, as shown below.
Twitter’s new directory tool may not be visible in the header of every account at the moment, however you are able to access it by going to http://twitter.com/#!/who_to_follow. By default, this new section shows a list of suggested users which is quite similar to the home page section that displays recommended users.
The right side of the new feature contains some useful information: Twitter has chosen to display the 10 most recent accounts you’ve followed, and clicking each displayed account displays two accounts that are similar. It’s important to note that “suggestive information” is not available for new accounts simply because they have yet to build a reputation score within Twitter, but as account activity builds, they too will be included. Further down the right side is the existing “Invite Friends” email tool, and two Related Services links to third party recommendation tools by Google and Bing. It’s great to see Twitter sharing the love!
Browsing By Interest
Twitter has done a fantastic job of organizing users by interests and you can now browse categories, choosing the types of users you’d like to engage with. This is a great way to find interesting people to add to your Twitter Lists, and if you’ve had a hard time finding relevant users to engage with in the past, these suggestions open the doors to conversation.
Import Contacts & Search for Friends
With Twitter’s new importing options connecting with your friends on Twitter has never been easier! You can search for friends via their email address or now by their LinkedIn account. Don’t even think about importing your Facebook contacts, however – Facebook has been blocking Twitter from accessing its information since January.
All of these features have always been a part of Twitter in one way or another, but the idea of simplifying this information and making it more accessible to the user is a new approach. By creating a unique, personalized section designed specifically to increase user interaction, Twitter has engaged the user themselves and has simplified future communication, greatly benefiting existing users and drastically reducing the learning curve for those to come.