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Monday, October 3, 2011

Must read: Twitter plans to hyper-localize content discovery: Will it hurt the service? (Excerpt via

A recent article by NYMag discussed the science of tweets, pointing out how difficult this content-discovery aggregation process would actually be for a service like Twitter. For one, users aren’t clearly labeled or categorized on the platform — barring what they might list in their actual bios, anyhow — making it difficult for Twitter to create thematic lists for these individuals aside from what is user-generated. Hashtags also serve as a sort of last-minute content discovery tool, but are a relatively primitive hack that some users still have trouble grasping.

Noting these issues, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has mentioned Twitter’s plans to help surface content discovery from the global to hyper-local level, presumably to provide better targeting for advertisers. In this way, Twitter hopes to better engage its users by dishing out the content they might prefer to see versus what they do not. As an example, Costolo shares, ”…You’re at the Giants game, and here are a bunch of other tweets and pictures people are tweeting from the game right now.”

TwitZip is a service that already profits from hyper-localization, so it’s not as if the idea is new. Topix, the largest local forum site in the US, also offers hyper-local ads and monetizes communities through these advertisements. Seeing the success of these mentioned services, it should be a breeze for Twitter to accomplish the same … Right?

So what’s the problem?

shutterstock 58444969 300x300 Twitter plans to hyper localize content discovery: Will it hurt the service?The main concern is that over structuring the flood of incoming content on Twitter will take away from its already genius recipe. Costolo says that people come to Twitter to experience Twitter, and worries that the platform will lose the “roar of the crowd.” Understanding this, Costolo reassures us that this will be built into Twitter in the future in a way that doesn’t pull away from how its current consumers experience the service.

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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