Twitter’s upgrade to “Suggestions for You”

UPDATE: Twitter has confirmed changes:

“We rolled out the first of many improvements, which is that we now take into account how many times a user views a certain recommendation without taking action. People are more likely to see new recommendations faster because we learn from what they don’t do.”

When I checked the http://twitter.com/invitations/twitter_suggests feature in mid-August, it was still suggesting mostly only already well-known accounts with lots of followers. On August 27, Twitter took the service offline. When I checked the service again a week later (September 5) I saw average users, many with very small followings, being suggested. And then I noticed this change (chart, below) in the rate people were following @TweetSmarter. Each dot represents how many people are following us on that day. It (usually) goes up by a hundred or more each day.

The rate at which people follow our account had increased (green arrows)…and become steadier. I’ve never, ever seen that before in our years on Twitter. I realized we had probably been added to the new “Suggestions For You” feature (along with many, many other accounts). It looks like Twitter has finally implemented some kind of meritocracy by which they would let even users with very few followers become “suggested” followers…as they have long promised they would do.

This is great news for all accounts!

Since @TweetSmarter is rated highly by every Twitter rating system out there, I always figured if Twitter started doing a better job of recommending who to follow, one way to tell would be by seeing the rate at which people follow @TweetSmarter increase. It looks like that has happened.

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