MASTERCLASSING

Twitter trials letting users follow interests instead of people

Tyrone Stewart

Twitter iconTwitter has begun testing giving users the ability to follow interests in much the same way as they follow accounts on the microblogging platform. This means that tweets about followed topics will appear inside the user’s timeline along with content from people they follow and the scattering of other content that already appears.

Users will be able to follow popular topics including sports teams, celebrities, and TV shows. Topics within the feature, first reported by The Verge, will be curated by Twitter, though individual tweets will be identified using machine learning. Users will also be able to temporarily mute topics to, for example, avoid spoilers when they haven’t seen the latest episode of a show.

For the time being, the feature is being tested on Android, where only sports-related interests can be followed.

A separate test is looking at the possibility of enabling users to set up lists to follow their individual interests. These lists would be accessible by swiping from the home feed.

Twitter is also working on making direct messages searchable, enabling users to reorder photos that have been attached to a new tweet, and adding support for Apple’s Live Photos.

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