Twitter Fires Up the Spotlight | Marketing Pilgrim
February 24, 2009 Leave a comment
Last month Twitter launched its ‘suggested users’ feature and the impact on those who were put on Twitter’s red carpet has been significant. Some of these profiles saw tens of thousands of additional followers added to their own personal profiles which created some very happy folks and, you guessed it, some not so happy people. The LA Times Tech blog has all the details but here are the high points.
Evan Williams and Biz Stone, co-founders of Twitter put this feature into place last month. When users sign up for a new account which is happening at a dizzying pace they are given a list of suggested users to follow. The folks at Twitter were noticing that many folks were signing up then not using the service. The hope by offering this was to get the newbies in the game. Makes sense to me since Twitter can be somewhat daunting for those beyond the early adopter / social media savvy part of the population.
The list includes Felicia Day, The Guardian, Rainn Wilson, Dell, The New York Times and CNN to name a few. The benefit to those who made the cut is very clear:
Since Twitter began endorsing a handful of personalities in mid-January, The Guardian was among several entities to reap a subscriber windfall. Its account jumped from about 4,000 followers to 66,000 in about a month, according to stat-tracking service Twitter Counter. And within the last two weeks, @GuardianTech added new users at a pace about 300% faster than the previous two weeks.
Day, an Internet video maven, experienced similar results. She has jumped from 20,000 to 83,000 since mid-January.
TechCrunch went… from 41,000 to 111,000 in the same period. The New York Times’ Twitter account increased its subscriber base by a factor of six — to 145,000.
The Twitter purists, however, are crying foul. The concern is that those who have grown their following organically and around ‘real’ value or severe self importance, you make the call are going to suffer. Leo Laporte of TWIT puts it this way: