Update: Twitter designer Paul Stamatiou has confirmed that the company is in fact behind the project.
Twitter is experimenting with sending breaking news via direct messages to its users as it builds on the success of its previous Twitter experiment @MagicRecs, which sends users personalized suggestions.
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A new account (@eventparrot) has surfaced, and its bio reads as follows:
This is a Twitter experiment. Follow me to receive direct messages that help you keep up with what’s happening in the world.
While we can’t be 100% sure that this is a Twitter-led initiative, the fact that a range of Twitter staff — including Isaac Hepworth, Paul Stamatiou and Gabriel Stricker — are among the account’s early followers, certainly suggest that this is another experiment from the company.
Another hint that this has come from Twitter is that @MagicRecs — which was recently rolled into Twitter as a mobile feature — has a very similar bio, and both accounts work in much the same way.
Here’s an example of the breaking news that @eventparrot delivers:
It seems that this latest experiment is adding more value for users who want to know what’s happening in the world — kind of like a competitor to @BreakingNews, only these news bites get sent straight to your Twitter inbox instead of being lost in a world of tweets.
Twitter’s Vice President of Engineering Alex Roetter has said before that the company is constantly working on experiments to help “make it easier to follow what you care about, connect with people, and discover something new”.
As Twitter gets closer to its IPO, it needs to show investors how it can continue retaining its users and attracting even more new customers. Direct messaging is likely something that Twitter wants to develop further, as the tool can push more personalized recommendations and let Twitter move beyond just being a passive provider of information.
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