To be honest: I hate all the Apple hype. I hated it on Digg and I hate it on Twitter as well. Twitter has been flooded with iPad tweets in such a manner that you can’t find the real news anymore.
The real news this week for us is that Twitter changes its recommended users list.
Before I go on with my weekly Twitter column I have to write something about the iPad: It’s not “magical and revolutionary” like the unsolicited email I got from Apple proclaims. I had to download QuickTime some years ago and since then they send me those emails. Tablet devices like this have been around for several months, the Archos 9 is the perfect example. It has several features that the iPad lacks. It supports multitasking, Flash, USB to name just a few.
Until now there was solely a fixed group of celebrities and technology mavens on the recommended users list. Those lucky few got hundreds of thousands of followers quickly. Now Twitter creates this list using an algorithm and based on topical categories. What’s the big news here you might ask, only new users even notice it.
Well, just consider the key term here: Algorithm.
Twitter has created an algorithm to rank users based on up to the minute Twitter activity.
The recommended users vary depending on the time you register with Twitter. Those who have tweeted recently get a better position. So we have a new TwitterRank algo here to speak in SEO terms. Twitter will now determine almost in real time how important you are. This might have some major ramifications for the future.
Will Twitter rank tweets by authority and actual real time importance of the user who tweets?
Possible. The future of Twitter might be a whole lot different then the chaotic past. A built in ranking algorithm might combine the best of two worlds, search and real time. Until now search.twitter.com has been more an annoyance than a search “engine”. I’ve been using Topsy most of the time instead.
Topsy already filters based on how influential a particular user is. This system is not perfect, for instance I know an influential SEO bot but Topsy offers the best results IMHO. Google hasn’t been too successful with ranking tweets yet as we have seen two weeks ago.
We might see Twitter changing the game a bit in the near future as they have in the past. Many Twitter tools have been discontinued after Twitter stopped the access to real time data for not paying tool operators. The Clicky web statistics tool has dropped Twitter follower numbers. Many tools just ended as a 404 error message.
Just test your old bookmarks, tools that have been saved 6 months ago often do not exist anymore. Will Twitter also kill real time search competitors and make the business inhouse? We know that search pays via ads and social networking does not. Why should they give away all the money?