Marketing 3 min read

New Twitter Feature to Allow Users to Follow Topics

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

It was revealed earlier this week that a new Twitter feature is being tested to let users follow topics.

Meaning, when the feature goes live, people would be able to follow their favorite celebrities, sports team, and TV shows, among others. The selection of tweets from the followed accounts would appear in the home feed alongside the regular tweets.

For example, if you’re a Knicks fan, tweets about the team, including the current games, stats, and players would appear on your live feed. The same applies to other sports too.

The social media company also said that it would be curating the topics. But, instead of an editorial team of curators, machine learning will identify and select individual tweets that’ll appear on users’ feed.

According to Twitter’s product manager, Rob Bishop, users can only follow sports-related interests for now. Also, the feature will only be tested on Android devices at the moment.

Why is Twitter placing restrictions on the testing phase?

Testing the new Twitter Feature

The Verge speculates that the restriction on the new Twitter feature was put in place to assess how it would affect the overall Twitter experience. While the underlying mechanics of the algorithmic promotion of topics is similar to promoted retweets, the company is hoping that it would fare better.

Kayvon Beykpour, who leads Twitter’s product effort, explained that the social media platform does not intend to create topics to cover all its users’ interest. Twitter would act with the understanding that bad actors are waiting to abuse the features, suggested Beykpour.

Also, users would have the option to mute topics. So, if you’re watching a TV show, but haven’t seen the latest episode, the topic muting option will temporarily hide tweets about the show from your feed to avoid spoilers.

Twitter is also exploring a way to let users set up separate lists w to follow their specific interests within the app.

In a demonstration, a product manager created a new list containing keywords and some individual accounts. Users simply have to swipe on the app to have access to the list.

Twitter has been introducing new features in an attempt to attract and retain new users.

Earlier in the year, the social media company released a prototype app to enable users to add colors to replies. That way, users can easily follow a conversation.

During a press event at the San Francisco headquarters, Beykpour said:

“Our desire is to be a little bit more ambitious about the level of change that we introduce into the product.”

Twitter is also expected to support Apple‘s Live Photos and searchable direct messages. Users will also be able to re-order photos in a tweet after attaching them to a new post.

Read More: The Best Times For Brands to Post on Twitter

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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