If you have wondered why you are suddenly seeing when someone has followed someone or favorited a tweet in your news timeline, you are not alone. Twitter has stepped up their testing to show follows and favorites of people you follow in your timeline.
In this example, two of the three items visible on the screen are follow alerts, while the third is a retweet.
— Nicholas C. Zakas (@slicknet) August 18, 2014
Twitter filling my feed with stuff I didn't ask for – stuff other people follow and fav. pic.twitter.com/IVOViGF1QW
— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) August 17, 2014
Ooh now twitter inserting selected "[person you follow] faved" tweets into main timeline pic.twitter.com/zDhrNseNGs
— Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) August 16, 2014
It does not seem to be promoted tweets or promoted follows at this time – or if they are, Twitter isn’t disclosing it. But showing up in news timelines is annoying people.
From a marketing perspective, it is a good thing. If you get many people following you or if you tend to get people favoriting your tweets more than retweeting them, it means you will get a lot more exposure of your account and tweets than you might otherwise.
However, its would be likely that Twitter will end up monetizing it, and in a slightly less obtrusive way than how Twitter currently promotes tweets and accounts and it could prompt more action from those who see it, since the person they follow would have very recently interacted by following or favoriting.
It is unclear how frequently Twitter is doing this, as it isn’t doing it to all follows or favorites, only select ones.
Jennifer Slegg is a longtime speaker and expert in search engine marketing. When she isn't sitting at her desk writing and working, she can be found grabbing a latte at her local Starbucks or planning her next trip to Disneyland.
She regularly speaks at Pubcon, SMX, ClickZ and more, and has been presenting at conferences for over a decade.
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