Twitter unveils new 'Connect' recommendations tab to attract new users

The new tab offers a personalised list of recommended tweets and accounts - but there's a danger it could overload users with useless information

Doug Bolton
Wednesday 04 May 2016 11:57
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Twitter has started to roll out a new 'Connect' tab on its Android and iOS apps, in an effort to make the service a little more user-friendly.

The Connect button will sit in the top-left corner of the app, and gives users a personalised list of tweets and accounts they might be interested in.

By analysing your behaviour on Twitter and the kinds of communities you're a member of, Twitter claims Connect will help you discover new content and expand your network - for example, if you follow lots of accounts linked to a certain football club, it might show you similar accounts or related tweets.

Connect will also show users top stories from across the world, and will give them the option to sync their mobile address book with the app, making it easier for them to find friends and family. Essentially, it's a revamped version of the 'Discover' tab, a similar recommendations feature which Twitter pulled from the app in April 2015.

Twitter has hundreds of millions of users and wields a lot of influence, but executives at the top of the company have been concerned about its performance and growth for a long time.

Twitter can be great once you've been on it for a while, but it takes work. New users often find it difficult to build their network and figure out what they're supposed to do, possibly explaining why there's reportedly almost a billion inactive, abandoned accounts littering the site.

By introducing a whole tab devoted to new content and customised recommendations, Twitter might be able to reverse its fortunes.

Not everyone's on board with the idea, however. American venture investor Chris Sacca, who funded Twitter in its early days, tweeted about the new feature, saying: "So instead of making it easier to find the best content, let's just load users up with more noise."

There's a danger that the Connect tab will just make the Twitter app bloated and even more confusing for new users. It'll take time to see whether it pays off.

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