Somebody please fix Twitter’s suggestion feature

When I started off with twitter, I used service’s such as Mr.Tweet to find new interesting people to follow, but when the number of people I was following crossed 1,000 I stopped using it.

When I first heard of Twitter’s suggestion feature I was looking forward to it, mainly to see what kind of people folks I’m following, are following. Till now, my experience has been close to disappointing. I have followed around 4-5 people based on the suggestions while hiding more than twenty. So here are a list of issues I have with the feature and how twitter could fix it.

Way too many brands and celebrities

I shouldn’t be following a brand, no matter how loyal a customer I am — they should find me, and I’ll follow back. Why suggest celebs? If I am a big fan of a celeb I’ll find him myself using the search feature. All this reminds me of the rumoured special accounts for brands on twitter. They could suggest possible users of the brand so they can reach out easily to their audience.

Don’t show me people I’ve unfollowed in the past

I unfollowed them for a reason, please respect my judgement and let it be, don’t force suggestions down my throat.

Stop overloading the sidebar

In the process of keeping the stream clean, Twitter has overloaded the sidebar with lists, saved searches, trending topics and now suggestions too. I’m okay with the first three, but suggestion feature hurts as it cannot be minimised — please let me.

I don’t like the way it works

Twitter has taken a leaf out of Facebook’s suggestion system and has taken it for granted that if two people I follow, follows X, I might also be interested in X. That’s not true in case of twitter, as this is an interest based platform not necessarily relationship based. So listen to my tweets, create an algorithm that can sort out keywords and suggest me users.

How about location data?

What happens to all the location data Twitter accumulates? It uses it to find our local trends, but they could further improve it by simply suggesting people tweeting from near my location based on my GPS data (when on mobile). Why haven’t they done that yet?

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