Wired reports that Twitter is testing a new, smarter signup process that has been designed with the intention to get new users to stick around longer.
It’s no secret that Twitter struggles with attracting and retaining new users, as this has been documented by recent studies showing a slow-growing base of active users and reports like this one showing that a significant amount of new users never tweet at all.
Wired reports that with this new signup process Twitter is trying to overhaul the experience it delivers to new users, and steer them towards the people and topics they’re most interested in. There are reportedly two new signup processes being tested that will guide new users in the direction of people and things they care about.
The first of the new signup processes is just for Android users, which uses Google account information to help populate a list of Twitter accounts to follow based on the user’s contacts. This is in stark contrast to the current signup process, which shows a generic list of popular accounts to every new user, not tailored to interests or current contacts.
A similar signup process is being tested for desktop, which allows new users to connect their Gmail account and provides suggestions of people to follow based on the contacts in the users’ Gmail address book.
Once the desired Gmail contacts have been selected, the new signup process sends users over to a section that allows them to choose topics of interest. When a topic of chosen, Twitter populates a list of people relevant to that topic, as well as a preview of their latest tweet.
After following some of the suggested accounts, the new signup process prompts users to go back to their profile where there will be a couple of suggestions for a first tweet, along with prompts to add a profile photo and background image.
Ideally, once the signup process is completed, new users will have a populated timeline full of tweets relevant to their interests and people they know.
Time will tell if this becomes part of the main signup process for all new users. Initial impressions say it’s a drastic improvement over the current signup process with real potential for Twitter to overcome their struggle with retaining new users.