MagicRecs: New Twitter Feature
Posted September 23, 2013
Twitter is experimenting with a new feature which sends direct messages to Twitter users giving them new recommendations on who to follow. The Twitter account, called Magic Recs (@MagicRecs), has introduced itself by stating: “This is a Twitter experiment. Follow me to receive instant, personalized recommendations for users and content via direct message.” How valuable could this feature be to your business? How might it change the way that Twitter is currently operating?
Although it has not been officially announced by Twitter, the CEO Dick Costolo has recommended in his own tweets that Twitter users should follow Magic Recs as a way to expand their followers, implying that it would be a beneficial addition to you Twitter account as a way to find new followers. The account has also been verified as an authentic account and currently has over 17,000 followers. Although this figure is growing, it is still only a fraction of the total 550 million Twitter users, suggesting that it is still an experiment but has the potential to be widely used in the future.
This could act as a valuable feature for companies hoping to expand their Twitter following, as the feature is able to identify relevant accounts which are gaining in popularity for whatever reasons. This aids companies in their account discovery by sending members Direct Message recommendations based on what the individual is already following on their own Twitter account.
The Twitter experiment also gives an interesting insight into the way that this social media platform is heading - it now allows you to receive a Direct Message from any follower, a fact which was tweeted by Magic Recs in May. This appears to be the first instance where users have been able to send a Direct Message to another user even if the account isn’t following them. One of the principles of sending a Direct Message on Twitter previously rested on the fact that you could only send a Direct Message to a Twitter user who is following you, as this would help to cut down on spam and unwanted messages from other Twitter accounts. However, this new development in that you can now send a Direct Message to any follower has changed this and could affect the way that Twitter is used in the future. No longer are Twitter Messages just used for personal and private conversations between friends, or customer service accounts which need personal details to be shared, they can now be used to send marketing related messages as a form of brand promotion. This could be beneficial for businesses hoping to increase their brand awareness, and gain a new follower base but it relies on Twitter users being receptive to impersonal and promotional messages being sent to their accounts.
Is the ability to send Direct Messages and recommendations to any follower a positive thing for general twitter users? A negative aspect of the ability to send Direct Messages to any follower is that it takes away from your account privacy. This feature will now allow impersonal messages to be sent to your Twitter account, which may not always be wanted and may lead to annoying spam messages filling your Twitter inbox. Furthermore, the recommendations which are sent out by Magic Recs may also impinge upon ones privacy by looking into exactly who you are following and sharing information about followers. The site does however ask for feedback in order to make their recommendations as effective as possible suggesting a simple reply of #good or #bad in response to their recommendations, implying they are hoping to make it as beneficial to the user as possible.
What do you think?
Will you try out Magic Recs as a way of finding of new recommendations to follow? How do you think this development will affect the use of Twitter in the future?
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