Twitter Experiments With Personalized User Suggestions

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Twitter announced that it is conducting some personalization experiments for users. Specifically, Twitter is trying to tailor user suggestions (suggestions for people to follow) to people's specific interests.

"These tailored suggestions are based on accounts followed by other Twitter users and visits to websites in the Twitter ecosystem," explains Twitter's Growth and International Director, Othman Laraki. "We receive visit information when sites have integrated Twitter buttons or widgets, similar to what many other web companies — including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube — do when they’re integrated into websites. By recognizing which accounts are frequently followed by people who visit popular sites, we can recommend those accounts to others who have visited those sites within the last ten days."

Apparently this is only the first in a series of experiments Twitter intends to run.

Twitter will show new users a list of suggested accounts on one side of the screen, and a timeline of tweets from those accounts on the other:

Personalized Twitter

For current users, the experiment comes in the "Who to Follow" section:

Tailored Suggestions

If you don't want Twitter to track your habits to personalize your suggestions, you can turn the feature off.

"As the Federal Trade Commission’s CTO, Ed Felten, mentioned earlier today, we support Do Not Track (DNT), which is reflected in our privacy policy as one of the ways you can indicate your preference," says Laraki. "If you have DNT enabled in your browser settings, we will not collect the information that enables this feature, so you won’t see any tailored suggestions. We hope that our support of DNT highlights its importance as a privacy tool for consumers and creates even more interest and wider adoption across the web."

The Federal Trade Commission's CTO, Ed Felten, just mentioned Twitter now supports Do Not Track. We applaud the FTC's leadership on DNT.
5 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto
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More on Twitter and DNT here.

Earlier this week, Twitter announced that it would be sending out personalized emails with summaries from your Twitter timeline.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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