While you probably already know which Twitter accounts you want to follow based on the celebrity/influencer or what the account tweets about, there are times when you’re interested in a certain topic but you don’t know which accounts you need to look at. Twitter is now testing out a new feature that would allow its users to follow certain topics the way you would follow an account. However, they’re being really careful about this as there may be some drawbacks towards doing this.
The Verge reported about this new thing that Twitter is testing out which should let you follow topics like sporting teams, celebrities, television shows, etc. What will happen is that Twitter will curate these tweets through machine learning and will insert tweets related to this in your regular home feed. As they’re just starting to experiment with this feature, only sports-related interests are included in the topics you can follow.
This is part of Twitter’s efforts to become even more relevant not just to old users but to also attract new ones to the platform. They want people to still get the best content even if they find it hard to look for which accounts they should follow on certain topics they’re interested in. Previously, they also introduced Twitter Moments which allowed users to see the most relevant or interesting tweets about a certain live event like the Oscars or Miss Universe, and of course live sports as well.
But according to Kayvon Beykpour, the lead for Twitter’s product efforts, they will not let people follow just any topic under the sun. They are careful about how “bad actors” may actually abuse this feature, especially when trying to promote problematic ideologies like white nationalism and hate speech. Twitter has become more careful and is carefully looking at the “bad incentives” that is created with liking and retweeting the aforementioned problematic topics.
Users will also be able to mute topics that they don’t want to see on their timeline. They are also testing letting users create separate lists to follow their varied interests. Other plans they’re looking at implementing are searchable direct messages and re-ordering photos in your tweet after you’ve already attached them.