From specific sports teams to TV shows, Twitter is finally going to let users refine their feeds by tailored topics, the company announced this week.
For many users and industry watchers, the change begs the question: Why has Twitter never offered such a seemingly useful feature?
“I can't believe it took Twitter 13 years to consider letting users follow topics, rather than only allowing them to follow people, brands and bots,” tech consultant Daniel Tunkelang tweeted on Tuesday.
Anthony DeRosa, digital production manager for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, put a humorous spin on Twitter’s seemingly backward product strategy, tweeting: “Twitter finally discovers their most useful feature: Lists.”
Twitter isn’t talking about the odd timing of the launch. The company says it is always working on ways to make its platform more appealing to more users.
On this point, industry leaders seem to agree.
“Amazing it’s taken Twitter this long, but the ability to follow topics rather than just accounts should make it far more accessible for a broader audience,” tweeted mobile technology analyst Geoff Blaber.
Using its own machine-learning technology, Twitter plans to determine what tweets belong in what topic categories. It intends to eventually offer an infinite array of topic feeds.
Separately, Twitter is also testing a feature that lets users craft their own topic categories. Again, it seems like another option the company should have been offering for years.
To be fair, this is not the first time Twitter has endeavored to segment its platform into more digestible content categories. In 2015, for example, it launched Twitter Moments, a feature that lets users curate tweets by category.These features are designed to make an even more refined experience. Still in beta, the new features are expected to be rolled out slowly over the coming months.