Why Twitter’s @MagicRecs Still Sucks

Why Twitter’s @MagicRecs Still Sucks

Shane BarnhillWednesday,9 April 2014

The Snap:

Late last year, I wrote “Why @MagicRecs Is Great,” in which I noted that Twitter’s @MagicRecs is, well, anything but great. “I haven’t found many — if any — new accounts to follow on an ongoing basis via @MagicRecs,” I said back then, and to date, nothing has changed. Although I’ve kept on following the service, it just hasn’t gotten any better at fulfilling its promise of surfacing interesting and relevant Twitter accounts to follow.

The Download:

And that’s a real shame. Twitter has to know the people whose Tweets I engage with most often. Heck, even Klout — a service that I’ve alternated between defending and deriding — did a respectable job at highlighting people who influence my online reading habits (that is, before they pivoted and were subsequently acquired).

But Twitter seems clueless.

I almost never read Twitter’s main feed. Instead, I’ve created a private list of about 100 friends, blogs, news organizations and writers who Tweet about topics that I care about, such as technology, politics and music. I read nearly every single Tweet from this list on a daily basis, and I probably click/tap on about one-third of the links in this customized stream. That’s heavy, narrowly-focused engagement!

But does @MagicRecs ever point out who the members of this list are following? No. Never. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Instead, I’m left with daily DM spam from @MagicRecs, based on digital marketing and social media types who I don’t recognize, but must have followed for some reason in the past. Perhaps these folks blogged some interesting things a couple of years ago, or maybe I started following them based on a conference hashtag. Who knows.

Oh that’s right. Twitter knows. Twitter knows that I don’t engage with these users at all, and yet, @MagicRecs still pushes recommendations based on these accounts. So instead of learning about insightful users based on the following and/or engagement of people such as @anildash, @joshuatopolsky, @OliviaNuzzi, @fmanjoo or @BrennaEhrlich, I’m left with daily crap that looks a lot like the image below.

And yes, I know I could go back and unfollow hundreds of people, but that’s a lot of work to nudge along an algorithm that should be able to nail my interests with relative ease.

I have a much better solution. I’ll just unfollow @MagicRecs instead.

@MagicRecs is Spam

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Image Credit: Flickr

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