Twitter, perhaps feeling a little pressure from Google’s new social network Google+, has started to experiment with placement options for its “Find Your Friends On Twitter” feature, encouraging users to import their friend lists from a range of other social networks and services to see if they are using the service.
Twitter has long offered a way to check to see if their email and social networking contacts are using the service but the import tool itself has been tucked away within the “Who To Follow” section of its website. Before, users were required to specifically navigate to the correct page to use the feature.
Wanting to capitalise on the number of views the main Twitter timeline page receives, the microblogging service has started to experiment with the placement of friend import notifications, fixing reminders above the Twitter timeline but also in the right column above user friend counts:
Above the timeline
In the sidebar
Currently, Twitter’s own import tool provides contact lists from Gmail, Yahoo, Windows Live, AOL and LinkedIn.
Twitter appears to be split-testing the placement of the tool, I haven’t yet seen an option to import my friends. However, some of those that have received the new notifications aren’t quite ready to share their Twitter experience with members of their family or people who have no idea what Twitter does but still have an account.
This has a led to a number of users posting messages of indifference to their timelines.
One Twitter user, @pppaola exclaims:
“Find your friends on Twitter: No Thanks.”
Other users appear to not want to share their celebrity obsessions with their acquaintances. Twitterer Lydia_Prince writes:
The team at Twitter are pushing users to connect with their friends, which is the very nature of the service, but it appears that many still see the microblogging service as an exclusive social network. The company has also been testing new pop-up messages on profile pages with allow visitors or logged-out users to sign up instantly.
The message allows users to enter a username, email address and password to sign up right away. It also allows users auto-follow the account they’re currently looking at and three similar accounts from the same interface.
While this may be a little annoying for anyone who just wants to read the latest updates from their favourite celebrities, it’s seemingly designed as a way to convert those casual visitors into active users as painlessly as possible, whilst the new friend features help those on the service connect to friends already using Twitter.