A Step In The Right Direction – Twitter Changes The 'New Follower' Email

“Coincidence is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and pulleys.” – Emma Bull.

Just a few hours ago on this blog in my article about essential features that Twitter has always lacked, commenter Darren Turpin expressed his desire for more detail in the emails that Twitters ends you each time you have a new follower.

“I’d like to see the new followers’ profile information and follower / following numbers included in the email. Getting a simple heads-up like that would help with the filtering process without the need to visit the site and check out the profile page for every new follower.”

Well Darren, it appears you got your wish – or somebody important was watching – as Twitter today sneaked in very welcome changes to the content of these emails.

This is what we had before:

Look at what you get now:

The extra detail includes:

  1. A profile picture of your new follower
  2. The number of followers they have
  3. The number of people they’re following
  4. Their total updates

It also comes with a convenient block button, for those occasions when you just know you’re not going to like what’s on the other end.

The extra information is very valuable in making a decision about whether you want to not only follow this person back, but even make the effort in visiting their profile, certainly if it’s obvious they’re a spammer, like this:

It’s not perfect – as Darren also suggested, it would be nice if Twitter could let you know if you’re already following this user. Maybe that will come. Maybe it’s already there, as I’m not following either of these guys.

I’d also like to see the daily digest email I talked about in my article.

However, this is very much a step in the right direction for Twitter, and it encourages me. Yes, it’s a relatively minor change, and perhaps an overdue and obvious one, but at least we know Biz et al are out there, listening to constructive criticism.

As for whether it was Darren’s or my own, it is perhaps not for us to say.

(Thanks to TheHenry for spotting this on Friendfeed, and being kind enough to follow me immediately afterwards, thus making it all sync together. 🙂 )