In a world where altruistic social gathering doesn’t pay the bills, Twitter continues to make changes that it hopes will drive more traffic directly to the Twitter domain and bolster its value to advertisers. The most recent update comes in the form of an alphabetical user directory. The link to the directory was quietly added to the the default home page for visitors to Twitter not already logged into the service.
According to Matt McGee in his recent article for Marketing Land:
Twitter launched the user directory a few weeks ago, but hasn’t made a formal announcement about it. That’s likely because it exists more for search engines than for Twitter users.
Basically, Twitter is aiming to draw people who are searching Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., for someone in particular. As the bots crawl their way through the new directory, more Twitter profiles should start showing up in search. That’s a step in the right direction, maybe.
Twitter is still struggling with the basic issue of no real reason to spend lots of time hanging out in the Twitter Web space. Users spend the most time on Twitter setting up their profile. Once it’s set, they either build up a personalized twitter stream that they keep track of on a mobile app or some other Twitter client application, or they never really get the point and let the profile languish, unused.
Even when a search result brings a user back to the Twitter domain, the realistic expectation is that they will skim the profile, make a decision to follow or not, and move on.
For those of you who love the news, information, and conversation constantly buzzing through your Twitter stream, what could Twitter do to make its space more appealing? What would it take for you to spend your time interacting with the twitterverse in the Twitter-owned domain?