Twitter’s New Filter and the Beginning of an Industry
What most people, especially small business owners, love about Twitter is it’s fair and equitable distribution of content – although that changed slightly with Promoted Tweets. But for the most part you know that when you post a tweet it’s going straight into the stream of your followers in chronological order. Or into the search stream if you use a #hashtag in your tweet.
The new Twitter Filter may change that. Not all at once and not for everyone, but the thin edge of the wedge is being inserted tomorrow – February 20th according to this blog post by Twitter developer Arne Roomann-Kurrik.
An Industry is Born
You’ve heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You may have heard of “EdgeRank” Facebook’s algorithm for ranking, filtering and prioritizing content. Both have spawned massive industries unto themselves for SEO and Facebook experts. It’s my theory that the new Twitter Filter is the beginning something similar – “Twitter Optimization”. (Remember, you heard it here first)
The new Twitter Filter purports to deliver “Top Tweets” based on ?? … well they don’t actually say what the ranking criteria is. No more than Google or Facebook will release all the criteria in their algorithms. However one can assume that number of followers/comments/retweets, and frequency of tweets will play a role.
The filter will assign values to tweets, classifying them by “none,” “low,” “medium,” and, in the future, “high.” According to Roomann-Kurrik the “medium” or “high” valued tweets would equate to the top tweet results on Twitter.
Here’s a snippet from Roomann-Kurrik’s post that explains what’s coming.
The new streaming-only filter_level attribute is intended for applications which display a selection of Tweets from a stream. Its values may be one of “none“, “low“, or “medium“, with a reserved “high” classification for future use. The “medium” (and eventually “high“) entries will roughly correlate to the “Top Tweets” results for searches on twitter.com. This will allow applications to more easily surface certain types of content from otherwise noisy or high-volume feeds.
Connecting to a public stream and specifying the filter_level parameter of one of “none“, “low“, or “medium” will define the level of filtering applied to the stream, where “none” corresponds to no filtering, and “medium” corresponds to the most filtering. The default value for filter_level will be none.
Depending on how this all rolls out it could ultimately destroy the diversity of the Twitter stream which is one of its most important and valuable characteristics – the key ingredient that attracted me to it and lead to meeting a number of amazing people I would otherwise never have met.
Small businesses will need to know how to navigate this new feature to maintain their Twitter presence and level of consumer engagement. This may mean adjusting their social media strategy to leverage the change and not sacrifice all they have invested up to this point. If you’d like to learn more contact us here.