Yesterday,Vindu Goel wrote about Twitter’s upcoming “Instant Timeline,” for a New York Times blog. That timeline is going to be a very big deal. He writes:
While the feature doesn’t solve all of Twitter’s interface problems, there is no question that it’s a huge improvement to the sign-up process. Setting up an account is quick and nearly painless, and you are then plunged into Twitter’s information stream…Twitter analyzes your contacts and uses information like who they are and who they follow on Twitter to guess which accounts and topics might interest you. It then shows you those tweets in your feed.
It takes the manual labor out of the way and will probably loosen the block some people still have about the platform. Do you have any friends outside of the media business (that can be the rub, sometimes)? Have you ever heard them say “I don’t get it,” when you talk about using Twitter? It’s not that they don’t get social media (they probably use Facebook), but that they don’t get the commitment it takes to actually be on and use Twitter on a daily basis. It takes a certain kind of someone and level of interest.
It’s like an Every Man’s version and it’s going to be a good thing. Although that’s not what Twitter has in mind, accroding to Goel:
The idea is that as a new user becomes more familiar with the service and chooses more accounts to follow, the instant timeline will include less material picked by Twitter’s algorithms. Eventually, the person will end up with a regular Twitter feed…With all of these moves, Twitter is finally acknowledging that whatever its value as a global, real-time, public information service, most people are too lazy or harried to invest time navigating its complexities until they know it is really useful to them.
But content producers and network marketing execs and TV manufacturer’s should start thinking about the masses and Twitter. It won’t always be the super fan who’s rummaging through the #TGIT timeline. What if you could click through trending Twitter topics in that generalized, instant timeline to change the channel to ABC on Thursday ? A tailored, low-maintenance Twitter could be, with the right care, a great doorway to all the entertainment, news, and marketing you never knew you wanted.