The toughest part of getting started on Twitter may be curating a list of interesting people and accounts to follow. In the past the company has offered up a list of suggested celebrities and brands to get started, but a new feature called “Instant Timeline” promises a better experience for Twitter newbies.
Here’s how it works: when you sign up for Twitter you’ll be asked to sync your contacts, just like before, but the company then uses that information to create a list of accounts tailored to your personality. That data mostly comes from the accounts your contacts are following, so if you’re friends with a lot of sports fans you might get a sports-heavy timeline.
The New York Times got a chance to try out Instant Timeline, and notes that it’s “eerily accurate” at times, but not without its flaws. The new feature might eventually be a way for Twitter veterans to shake-up their own timelines, though for now it’s only available to people signing up for the first time. It’s actually restricted to new accounts activated on Android phones at the moment, though it should expand soon assuming early testing works out.
After promising a handful of flashy new features last year, Twitter has mostly come through on those claims. The social network added “While You Were Away” recaps along with group direct messages last month, quickly followed by Instant Timeline. Now that these new features have arrived, the real question is whether they can actually boost the number of people using Twitter on a regular basis.