Twitter is easy, right?No—actually, it’s way too hard for ordinary people to sort through all the noise and chatter to find interesting tweets. The buzzword in Silicon Valley for this is “discovery.”
So Twitter’s now fixing its discovery problem with a new feature called “Tailored Trends.”
It’s rolling out both on Twitter’s website and its mobile apps. (Twitter’s mobile advertising has been on a tear lately, CEO Dick Costolo noted.)
Before, Twitter displayed popular keywords, or hashtags in Twitter parlance, based either on your location or on worldwide usage. Now Twitter is going to start personalizing those lists of keywords based on the users you follow on Twitter.
This will likely mean users will start looking at those trends more, and clicking on those links.
Just like its recent move to improve hashtag search-results pages so they’re a better experience for both users and advertisers, this will likely help Twitter’s ever-expanding sales force sell a product it’s offered for a while, Promoted Trends.
Right now, Twitter has done well selling untargeted Promoted Trends ads for $100,000 a day or more to brand advertisers who just wanted to reach a big, undifferentiated audience. But targeted Promoted Trend ads based on interests—information Twitter can deduce from the accounts you follow—should yield more money overall.
By the way, some people won’t like this change—chiefly those who rely on Twitter to learn what’s happening in the world, or are curious about what people who aren’t like themselves and their friends are thinking about.
Those general trends will still be available, but you’ll have to take an extra step to turn off Twitter’s Tailored Trends by changing your “location.” (The “location” language is confusing, since the new trends are based on who you follow, not just your physical location. Hopefully Twitter will change that to make more sense.)