Twitter’s New “Tailored Suggestions” Are Based On Your Web Surfing Data

Twitter wants to be more relevant to you. And in order to do so, they’ve started providing users with tailored suggestions of who to follow, rather than just a list of some of the most popular account.

Since not everyone loves Justin Bieber, this move should make searching for new, relevant accounts to follow a more pleasant experience for the average user, and Twitter’s hoping it increases the number of new users who stick around past the signup process.

When a new users signed up for Twitter in the past, they were presented with a list of recommended accounts to follow – but this list was basically the same for every new user. Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey, Ashton Kutcher… these celebs are definitely big on Twitter, but not everyone is interested in following them.

Now, Twitter is tailoring the list of recommended accounts to new users, to make it more relevant to each individual.

They’re basing the new recommendations on how Twitter users interact with offsite Twitter buttons. In their own words:

“These tailored suggestions are based on accounts followed by other Twitter users and visits to websites in the Twitter ecosystem. We receive visit information when sites have integrated Twitter buttons or widgets, similar to what many other web companies — including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube — do when they’re integrated into websites. By recognizing which accounts are frequently followed by people who visit popular sites, we can recommend those accounts to others who have visited those sites within the last ten days.”

And this new approach to providing more context to suggested accounts applies not just to new Twitter users: established users will see new results when they visit “Who To Follow”, also tailored based on website visit data.

This new feature is called “Personalization” in Twitter’s account settings, and it can be turned on or off. If it’s disabled, Twitter won’t collect any information for the feature from your account, and it will remove the tailored suggestions and presumably go back to the old list of suggested accounts.

(Tailor image via Shutterstock)