Twitter has had a problem attracting and retaining new users for years. And amidst worries that Twitter’s slow-growing user base makes the company a bad investment, it looks like they’re trying to right the ship – starting with a new signup process to entice new users.
WIRED has the scoop on Twitter’s latest attempt to appeal to new users.
Along with a modified Android signup process, Twitter is apparently experimenting with importing user contacts from Gmail as part of the initial user signup.
After entering their username, email and password, users can connect to their Gmail accounts. Once it gains access to a user’s address book, Twitter populates a list of suggested follows with these contacts – a marked departure from the previous process, which showed a generic list of popular accounts to every new user, not tailored to their interests or current connections.
When users are finished following their Gmail connections, they’re taken to a more refined “Interests” page than the current signup process offers, with topics like “NHL” instead of simply “Sports.”
One interesting thing that WIRED points out is that the suggests accounts – both via Gmail and “Interests” – are all account that tweet often and, in the case of Gmail, that the user communicates with regularly.
This move might help Twitter overcome the disappointing figures released last month suggesting that less than half of new users who sign up each month bother to send a single tweet. Twitter has to become more relevant to people’s individual interests – as opposed to suggesting lists of generally popular accounts – if they want to see more (and more engaged) users sign up in the future.