Twitter to scrap controversial suggested user list

Nov 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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: Barclays to allow payments by using Twitter handles

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Twitter user list favors Dems in Calif. gov race

Oct 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.

Twitter to try money-making methods

Mar 27, 2009

Micro-blogging sensation Twitter plans to begin dabbling this year with ways to pump cash from the fast-growing free service.

Twitter still seeking ways to cash in

Oct 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 unveils new frontpage

Jul 30, 2009

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

Recommended for you

Barclays to allow payments by using Twitter handles

4 hours ago

The next chapter in banks moving into the digital age is a stretch beyond reminding customers over phone lines that they can also bank online. Barclays has launched Twitter payments through Pingit.

QR codes engineered into cybersecurity protection

8 hours ago

QR, or Quick Response, codes – those commonly black and white boxes that people scan with a smartphone to learn more about something – have been used to convey information about everything from cereals ...

Australian laws on storing phone, Internet records to change

16 hours ago

(AP)—A parliamentary committee on Friday recommended a major rewrite of draft laws that would force Australian telcos and Internet providers to store customers' personal data for the convenience of law enforcement agencies. ...

User comments : 0

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.