Twitter to scrap controversial suggested user list

November 16, 2009 By JULIA ZAPPEI , Associated Press Writer
Twitter logo

(AP) -- Social-media site Twitter plans to scrap its hand-picked list of "suggested users" to follow after controversy erupted over the selection of people on the list, a company executive said Monday.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said the company was seeking a more systematic way to introduce its prominent posters, including sports figures, celebrities and politicians, to newcomers to the site.

"That list will be going away," Stone told reporters on the sidelines of a conference for young entrepreneurs in Malaysia's capital, Putrajaya. "In its stead will be something that is more programmatically chosen, something that actually delivers more relevant suggestions."

Twitter's list, which numbers around 500 suggested users, proved controversial after its launch earlier this year. Recently, political watchdogs in California criticized the list, claiming it favors Democrats over Republicans in the state's gubernatorial race next year.

Stone and other company employees choose who will be featured on the list. has said the list is based on users "who show that they provide value by posting often and engaging with their followers."

Stone indicated the suggestions could eventually be tailored to new users' interests, though he did not elaborate. Nor did he say when the list would be removed or replaced.

Twitter plans to add other new features, including an easier, faster way to forward messages, and wants to be translated into more languages, Stone said. It is presently available in English, Japanese and Spanish.

"Ninety-seven percent of our efforts are basically on delivering user value," he said. "Everyone is still experimenting. It's still young, it's still early. Anything goes right now as we figure out what works and what doesn't work."

The popularity of San Francisco-based Twitter, which allows users to post 140-character messages sharing everything from mundane details about their lives to major news, has soared. The number of users increased more than tenfold within a year to 54 million currently.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Twitter to try money-making methods

Related Stories

Twitter unveils new frontpage

July 30, 2009

Micro-blogging service Twitter has unveiled a new frontpage featuring a prominent search box in a bid to attract new users.

Twitter still seeking ways to cash in

October 14, 2009

Micro-blogging pioneer Twitter is still looking for ways to make money despite taking much of the world by storm, co-founder Biz Stone said.

Twitter user list favors Dems in Calif. gov race

October 27, 2009

(AP) -- When people sign up for Twitter, the popular social-networking site presents a list of suggested users to follow, driving significant traffic to sports figures, celebrities, politicians and other prominent posters.

Recommended for you

How to curb emissions? Put a price on carbon

September 3, 2015

Literally putting a price on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses is the best approach for nurturing the rapid growth of renewable energy and reducing emissions.

Customizing 3-D printing

September 3, 2015

The technology behind 3-D printing is growing more and more common, but the ability to create designs for it is not. Any but the simplest designs require expertise with computer-aided design (CAD) applications, and even for ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.