New tailored suggestions for you to follow on Twitter

Every day, hundreds of thousands of people sign up for Twitter to get closer to the things they care about — friends, businesses, celebrities, news and information from all over. If you’ve used Twitter for awhile, you know it can take some effort to find and follow the accounts that really reflect your interests. If you’re signing up for Twitter for the first time, we want that process to be easy and fast.

Currently, when new users come to Twitter, we show them all almost the same suggestions for what or who to follow. That isn’t ideal. Since you have individual interests, you should get individual suggestions. After all, even though millions of people love Justin Bieber, FC Barcelona or Kim Kardashian, not everyone using Twitter may want to follow them. A football fan in Italy who loves to travel may want to follow @chiellini, @walksofItaly and @nytimestravel. An aspiring chef who loves to laugh can follow @epicurious, @seriousrecipes and @SteveCarell. And a mom whose son is traveling in Australia can feel connected to him and keep up with the latest news where he is by following @smh.

To make it easier and faster for everyone to get started on Twitter, we’re beginning some experiments with tailored suggestions in a number of countries around the world. The first experiment will show new users a list of accounts that we recommend you follow, alongside a timeline filled with Tweets from those accounts. If you’re part of the experiment, you’ll see a Twitter experience that’s relevant to you right when you sign up. (Of course, you can always choose to not follow the suggested accounts that don’t interest you.)

New users may see a list of tailored suggestions (left) and a timeline with Tweets from those accounts (right) as they sign up for an account.

New users may see a list of tailored suggestions (left) and a timeline with Tweets from those accounts (right) as they sign up for an account.

If you’re a current user, you may see tailored suggestions in Who to follow so you can constantly find interesting and relevant accounts that are new to you. In both cases, we hope it’s effortless for the Italian football-and-travel fan to follow @chiellini, @walksofItaly and @nytimestravel. To see which accounts we’d recommend for you, visit our preview page.

Current users may see tailored suggestions in “Who to follow”.

These tailored suggestions are based on accounts followed by other Twitter users and visits to websites in the Twitter ecosystem. We receive visit information when sites have integrated Twitter buttons or widgets, similar to what many other web companies — including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube — do when they’re integrated into websites. By recognizing which accounts are frequently followed by people who visit popular sites, we can recommend those accounts to others who have visited those sites within the last ten days.

As always, we are committed to providing you with simple and meaningful choices about the information we collect to improve your Twitter experience. For those who don’t want to tailor Twitter, we offer ways to turn off this collection. As the Federal Trade Commission’s CTO, Ed Felten, mentioned earlier today, we support Do Not Track (DNT), which is reflected in our privacy policy as one of the ways you can indicate your preference. If you have DNT enabled in your browser settings, we will not collect the information that enables this feature, so you won’t see any tailored suggestions. We hope that our support of DNT highlights its importance as a privacy tool for consumers and creates even more interest and wider adoption across the web.

Additionally, new users will see an option to “Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits” along with a link to “Learn more” when they create an account on Twitter.com. Current users will see a new “Personalization” section in account settings, with the same option to tailor Twitter. Of course, you can disable these options at any time, which will stop the collection of information for the feature and remove any tailored suggestions we have for you. You can even choose to turn off tailored suggestions from the preview page (which shows some suggestions we’d make for you).

Every day, experienced Twitter users are brought closer to the things they care about in unique, profound ways. Today’s experiment in providing tailored suggestions lets novice users go from zero to pro faster and more easily than ever before. So even if you’re not a football-loving Italian who wants to travel the world, we hope this experiment immediately makes Twitter yours, and you can start getting closer to the things you care about with just a few clicks or taps.

- Othman Laraki, Director, Growth and International (@othman)