Many of Twitter’s recent updates are helping to get your tweets in front of more people, but the company’s latest tool is focused on the account behind the content. Twitter is currently testing a feature that will send recommendations on who to follow through Direct Messages (DMs).
Twitter has come a long way from its microblogging beginnings to a massive database of real-time information, but the company has faced challenges when it comes to identifying relevant accounts. Currently marketers can rely on word of mouth — and hope that followers get your name out there — or you can invest in Twitter’s Promoted Products.
The company’s newest experimental feature aims to assist with account discovery by sending members Direct Message recommendations based on the activity of accounts that an individual is already following. For example, if several of the accounts someone follows suddenly begin following Sprout Social, Magic Recs might send that person a DM notifying him or her of the activity — but only if that person is already following Magic Recs.
The Magic Recs account first appeared a couple of months ago when Twitter engineer Tim Trueman mentioned it within a tweet. Since then, the account has amassed just over 13,300 followers, making the test group a relatively small one, though it appears that the test is open to anyone willing to follow the account, so we expect to see that number rise as the word spreads.
Several Twitter executives have confirmed and referenced Magic Recs through tweets of their own; however, not much else is known about the experiment. The New York Times did note that the account also had a habit of flagging messages posted to Twitter that are attracting the attention of people within a network. It’s possible that Twitter is testing its recommendation algorithms, or whether people mind being targeted by Direct Messages. In either case, both could have major implications for marketers in the future.
A spokesperson for the company declined to comment further on the test, but we hope to learn more as the test pool grows. With all eyes on Twitter and its pending IPO, it’ll be interesting to watch what the company does next with this feature, if anything.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.