I’ve been noticing a prompt at the top of my Twitter page on Twitter.com lately – a black box with a message to reconnect with someone.
This is new. It made me think of how Facebook prompts me with “What’s on your mind?” in the open post field. As if still, after all these years, I don’t know what to put into that blank field at the top of my Facebook page.
These Twitter prompts, however, mention a person and are much more specific than the “Compose a tweet” instruction in the open field on my Twitter page.
I can’t figure out the rhyme or reason for these prompts and the people Twitter is prompting me to greet with a tweet. They all seem to be people with whom I may have interacted with in the distant past (but don’t recall) and clearly haven’t interacted with in a long time. For a moment, I wondered if these were ads like Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts – a new way to get attention on Twitter although I’m pretty sure now that they are not.
There doesn’t seem to be any strategic value in these prompts, or is there? I see that @carollambert is a classical oil painter in Anchorage, Alaska. Maybe if I were in the market for a painting or had recently tweeted about art or painting, this prompt would make sense.
Another person Twitter nudged me to say “hi” to recently was @animated_me, an Online Services and Instruction Librarian in San Diego, California. Again, I hadn’t recently tweeted about libraries, librarians or even books other than maybe my own books.
Perhaps Twitter is just trying to be friendly or to remind me to be friendly, even to the Twitterfriends with whom I haven’t interacted in a long, long time. Like a good host, Twitter is saying “hey, you seem to know this person since you are following each other. Why not take a moment and say hello.”
Hi @carollambert! Hi @animated_me. Our mutual friend Twitter thought I should say hello. What’s new?
If you are in the market for oil paintings, check out @carollambert. If you are interested in education technology, see @animated_me. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what Twitter had in mind, but what the heck.
What do YOU think Twitter is trying to do with these prompts?