Finding friends on Twitter

October 29th, 2014

Today I used Twitter’s Find Friends feature that connects to Gmail to get a list of your contacts and subsequently searches Twitter for them.

I have just over 2,550 contacts in my address book. Many are duplicates, due to how Gmail handles adding these addresses to your contact list. But, a cursory glance at the recordset shows me that I likely have about 2,000 people or business in there.

Out of those 2,000 Twitter found 487 accounts. Not too bad. Scrolling through those about 100 of them were somewhat active accounts. By active, in this case, I mean that they’ve tweeted or replied to a tweet within the last 60 days or so.

Out of those 100 active accounts that Twitter found by digging through my contact list, about 12 of them were really engaging or interesting or super active.

By engaging I mean sharing any unique content, taking part in discussions or hashtags, or replying to tweets regularly.  I was surprised how many accounts simply regurgitate content from other Twitter accounts. Probably 50 accounts, out of the 487, were accounts that were simply retweeting tech news sites. Bleh. Several others were Twitter accounts that obviously had a lot of mentions that simply went unanswered. Bleh again.

By interesting I mean real, hand-written tweets. I don’t mind if people tweet mundane daily things like “getting coffee” or “taking a poop”. I find that far more interesting than the tech-news retweeters. Bonus points for people that share some of their life via Twitter.

And by super active I mean that you can immediately tell that the accounts are used most every day.

Out of those 12 engaged, interesting, and super active accounts I followed a handful and threw the rest into a private list to keep an eye on.

Finding friends on Twitter is hard. Or, more correctly perhaps, finding active friends on Twitter is hard.

Somewhat related: Mark Zuckerberg 17 hours ago:

There are now more than 1.35 billion people using Facebook every month — over 860 million every day.

Perhaps Facebook is winning on daily activity while Twitter is winning on messaging utility? I don’t know. Maybe Twitter is just plain losing right now.