Five Reasons Why Twitter’s New Directory Matters

jpriestley

October 10th, 2012

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News this week of Twitter’s new directory hardly made global headlines. We’re sure the company will be rejoicing, particularly given the rather awkward news about Jack Dorsey’s working arrangements and how he now seems to have been sidelined by the very company he helped to created. Steve Jobs-esque, it may be, but the directory is, in our opinion, the real news article for Twitter this week.

You can access the Twitter directory here and as you’ll see from the click-through at the bottom of Twitter.com’s logged-out page, it’s hardly hidden under reams and reams of smallprint. That said, they haven’t exactly shouted about the directory either, which currently contains public profiles…and millions of them. Here’s a screengrab of one of the screens of the directory (warning – not the most thrilling screengrab you will ever see…):

 

Five reasons why this new directory is important:

1. Search – clearly Twitter wants to entice those conducting search for a particular individual. As a result of the directory, more Twitter profiles should start showing up in search, challenging other social media platforms as the de-facto location to connect with an given person. What’s more, the more traffic it drives and the higher its results rank in search compared to other social media channels, the more commercially robust it will become, leading to…

2. Advertising – it’s no surprise that Twitter is keen to generate increased revenue and to prove its worth as a viable advertising channel like Facebook.

3. Transparency – Twitter is still viewed by many to be a murky world, inhabited by Tattle-tails, Trolls and Troublemakers. Perhaps the new directory will enable it to present a more open and less anarchistic face to the world.

4. Clout – Outlining the public (and sometimes famous) profiles on a directory helps to underline how the platform has successfully attracted well known personalities from Hollywood through to Downing Street. Given Twitter’s platform and the way celebs can mingle as much or as little as they choose with their loyal subjects, it’s a more desirable choice for them than Facebook and it has, arguably, become the de facto platform for the world’s great and good.

5. Search – We’ve included this twice because it’s really important (see point one above). You can probably tell where this is going…

So, only time will tell how the directory expands and what Twitter plans to do with it. We’d be interested in your thoughts as to why you think the directory has launched now and what impact you think it will have.

 

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