Social media platforms are constantly trying to convince you that you should ‘follow’ or befriend certain individuals on the platform. The logic is usually “you follow x,y and z and X,Y and Z are all friends with this person thus you should be friends with this person.” Though the suggestions are not always accurate, they are not entirely wrong cause occasionally they get the job done.
A strange thing occurred when Twitter started suggesting a list of people you should unfollow. As far as I know this is unprecedented and I’ve never seen Facebook suggest a list of the friends you need to ‘unfriend’. What’s the thinking behind the feature that was being tested by Twitter?
Twitter is now suggesting accounts to UNFOLLOW!
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 29, 2018
Well, it seems it all lies in engagement:
We know that people want a relevant Twitter timeline. One way to do this is by unfollowing people they don’t engage with regularly. We ran an incredibly limited test to surface accounts that people were not engaging with to check if they’d like to unfollow them
These were the words of a Twitter representative who confirmed the tests. This is a bit of a weird metric to judge since you may not like, reply or retweet someone else’s tweets but still intend to follow them but I don’t think the feature does any harm. Of course, the users who were getting suggestions were not pleased by the accuracy of these suggestions for the most part but I do think with most features like this they tend to get better with time
Useful or not?
In the implementation stated by the Twitter rep above, I don’t think it’s much of a useful feature but I do think this could work perfectly in a couple of instances:
- You are urged to unfollow Twitter accounts that have been inactive for 2 years and over as they are just inflating the number of followers you follow and diluting newer suggestions of who you should follow whilst no longer making use of the platform.
- Accounts that start of with a specific focus and then once they have a huge following they switch to bombarding followers with ads. I didn’t sign up for the ads so once the focus of that page changes, a suggestion for me to unfollow them would not seem invasive.
Anyway, the feature might never see the light of day, but hopefully some people from Twitter read Techzim and they run with my ideas…
Also read, Data Saving Twitter Lite Finally Available In Zim
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