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Twitter Explains Their Selections for Default Suggested Users
There’s been a lot of chatter here and there about the "default users" list on Twitter. Twitter calls it a "suggested users" list but I call it default list because for any new person to Twitter, the natural choice is to accept the presented list. Early on, Robert Scoble wondered if Michael Arrington paid cash to get on the list.
Tonight co-founder Biz Stone took some time out from handling customer support issues to explain how they determine who is on the default list. See I didn’t think it was cash, I thought it was cupcake deliveries that guaranteed a default spot.
So here are the bullet points from his post followed by my commentary:
- we pick who we want like a bookstore picks their top selections
- they have a "chief scientist" who looks at some factors
- the twitter execs then take a look at the list and determine who is in
- If you a friend of Twitter, founder or investor, you 93.4% on the list
defaultsuggested users makes twitter more relevant!
From looking at the full list (Biz notes only 20 accounts are randomly listed but I see a much bigger list), here are my takeaways:
- blogs that continuously cover twitter are listed – even if their twitter account is just a rss feed import (see techcrunch, mashable, alley insider, etc.)
- people who bring cupcakes are listed (see justine’s video below)
- if you are a celeb
The net result is that Twitter uses the suggested users account to help make sure new users think there’s big activity from people they may recognize and from users who help promote the service outside of Twitter. I guess the early adopters who helped build Twitter now realize their work was to get Twitter to this point – the big’uns got it from here. To some extent, it’s like a club poster advertising that jay-z or mariah are going to be in the club tonight.
The way the list is organized now is a smart move for Twitter. Makes Twitter seem very “in” when new users (especially the media) come on board.
I guess we know why Jason Calacanis isn’t on the list as of now – best he can offer is a Mahalo page for Twitter.
Naturally on the web there are 1,000 better ways to introduce people to a service like Twitter. Random isn’t really one of them but it does help with one thing – and I will share that one thing in a post later this week.
And, once again, don’t forget to bring them some cupcakes :)