From Social Graph to Interest Graph: Twitter Tells You Who to Follow

Twitter is introducing a new Tab to its redesigned social dashboard. Depending on which test you’re part of, you may already see “People” or “Find People” just to the right of the Messages link at the top. This new feature is the culmination of Twitter’s work to enhance your experience within the rapid-fire micro information exchange. While this isn’t Tweet-stopping news, it is important.

By clicking through, we open a window that allows us to look beyond our egosystem to explore the topics and tweeple who also contribute to the Twitterverse. Doing so reveals that our world is in fact, not flat. And, we also discover parallel universes that could benefit from our connection as well as benefit our social existence.

This is about who we know and who we should know.

We teach.

We learn.

We grow.

As a result…the magnetism of the network grows stronger, until it becomes part of our human nature, an extension of who we are and what we do. Indeed, Twitter is gradually migrating us from social graphs to interest graphs. Why? Because Twitter needs us to grow and shape our connections to keep us focused on our attention streams and to cultivate a rich landscape of contextual networks or nicheworks around interests, topics and memes. Aside from creating a valuable exchange for information commerce, interest graphs improve how people learn, discover, share and communicate. Nicheworks are also incredibly monetizable and may in fact, represent the future of marketing, service, and advertising.

Who to Follow

WTF (couldn’t resist) introduces us to the people who are connected to friends and friends of friends as well as those whose Tweets echo  similarities to our own. Here we learn more about people, their recent Tweets and are given the ability to follow them or add them to a list on the spot.

Once on the WTF page, we’re presented with new tabs to help us expand and refine our interest graph, “Browse Interests” and “Find Friends.”

Browsing interests is also extremely intuitive.  Simply browse top-level topics and Twitter’s human algorithm introduces you to a qualified set of individuals and branded accounts. This same technology will eventually escalate beyond connections as we start to explore the world of social networks and conversations to predict behavior, outcomes, and events.

Interest graphs aren’t limited to Twitter. Every social network competing for your attention and connections will nurture the maturation of social and interest graphs. As architects of our own online experiences, it improves how quickly relevant information and people find us, our ability to develop and better our online persona, and ultimately how we positively affect those who follow us.

(h/t TechCrunch)

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  • Padawansguide

    I actually don’t like this feature as I feel like maybe you don’t want your friend’s friends to know you are there. Especially if they are mutual friends who you either don’t want to follow, or don’t want following you. It’s much harder to keep a low profile as a result. Even with a locked account.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Holden/1433746871 Dan Holden

    WTF is a great name for this.
    Twitter has NOT allowed me to follow any additional people since February 2010. That’s almost a damn year ago. Why? Because I’ve hit the limit by following 2000 people, and “only” about 1400 are following me.
    Yet ever since then, every new enhancement they have introduced has been about encouraging me to follow more people.
    WTF is right.

    • http://twitter.com/ClassicLegacy Catherine Tatum

      I am not there yet but am following about 1200 and have 700 followers…..and I can see the same problem that you have coming………What are we to do and how come some people can follow many thousands of followers and have no problem doing so!

  • http://twitter.com/allenmireles Allen Mireles

    Brian,

    I enjoyed your use of the term “egosystem” and then, of course, WTF. Nicely done.

    On another note, going back through and re-reading “Engage” and heavily underlining. Did this on the plane last week and it looks absurd (due to the turbulence not my underlining ability). Took the opportunity to gift someone with their own copy of “Engage” as the appropriate introduction to the world of social media. Very pleased.

    Thanks again for your good work.

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Hi Allen! Indeed, the “me” in social media is at the center of the egosystem. Oh, and thank you so much for the kind words about the book. Turbulence is never fun. So you gifted that book and bought a new one? If you tweet a pic of the most underlined section, I might just send you one of these books! :) http://bit.ly/cv7uHV

  • http://twitter.com/romerobv Romero Cavalcanti

    Great article.

    Twitter is the fourth most popular social network in Brazil with about 9.6 million visitors in October. The service reaches about 25% of the Brazilian online population.

    Ongoing communication with members of your community and building personal relationships takes time, effort, and intelligence. Twitter Tells You Who to Follow… Is an strategies for building a strong following on Twitter for both individuals and businesses.

    What can the Twitter achieve with a Social Intelligence strategy?

    Greetings from Brazil.

  • http://www.websuccesscoach.com Demetria

    Love it…thanks for sharing this. I’m always on the lookout to finding new people on twitter to follow with interests similar to mine. Definitely if they’re making it more intuitive, it begins to cut down on the amount of extra tools I need to use in order to get things done to connect in Twitter.

  • http://www.websuccesscoach.com Demetria

    Love it…thanks for sharing this. I’m always on the lookout to finding new people on twitter to follow with interests similar to mine. Definitely if they’re making it more intuitive, it begins to cut down on the amount of extra tools I need to use in order to get things done to connect in Twitter.

  • http://home-decorating-makeovers.com/ Jennifer Duchene

    Clever Twitter, moving us down the line of engagement, focusing us on narrowing our search to the ones who make sense. You do have a way with words and egosystems is definitely what we are all building, narrow tunnels of glass, I guess its time to “break glass in case of fire” and touch entwine and create. Much harder for those of us who are still building our dens of egoicity. I look forward to reading Engage to see if the ring fits.

  • http://twitter.com/IronShirtMedia Carl Brown

    Great insights. I think if twitter can successfully guide “who we should know” that will be a part of cementing a stranger position as a durable tool as opposed to the current shiny social media platform.

  • Anonymous

    Another addition slowly helping people to actually log in to twitter, analytics next. So important not to stop learning whether a person or organisation like Twitter, but whilst learning so good to see they are thinking too of what will help the people they are connected to.

    Reading Engage right now and wish I could have highlighted from top to bottom, underlining my work in social media but also as a coneptual and performance artist since 1982. All I ever did creatively was look for interaction, reaction, collaboration and engagement to help share my information and activity with other conected communities.

    Now I would like to just gift some people the audible version or simply leave playing outside their offices or closed minds.

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  • Sara Petersen

    I love the idea behind Twitter telling us who we should follow and those “human algorithms.” However, I feel like the “promoted” trending topics and who to follow is cheap, and cheating. It’s the same difference between organic SEO and pay-per-click or SEM. Not a fan.

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  • Anonymous

    That’s the purpose of the Internet – to be a fascilitator in not only connecting you to the people you already know offline, went to schoola nd worked with, but to connect, and of course first find for you the like-minded people that you know that exist but simply could not find!

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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