Twitter has a fun new experiment going on and it looks like a feature that Twitter is only making available on Android, for now. This new experiment will allow users to Favorite actual Twitter users, not just users' tweets. Right now Favoriting users doesn't do much. All it does for now is push notifications to your device whenever that person tweets. It's a way to stay on top of every tweet from Twitter users that you really care about.
You can turn on push notifications for certain users right now, but you have to navigate through the Settings menu to turn the feature on. You can also register your phone number with Twitter and then turn on SMS notifications for certain users. This new Favorites feature makes the process really easy, though.
Fav'ing accounts on twitter? Hmmm pic.twitter.com/SLOkziMYZw
â€” drew olanoff (@drew) December 24, 2013
Twitter is working on new experiments and ways to make the platform easier to use, specifically for brand new users. A recent Twitter for Android app update totally revamped the app interface, although most of us feel that the UI update is a horrible step backwards in usability. But they are trying new things. This new Favorites feature could disappear as quickly as it appeared. It could just as easily catch on with users and become a permanent part of the ecosystem. Even though Twitter filed its IPO recently, the service is still evolving and trying to figure things out.
The new Favorites feature could have several applications, including allowing you to showcase the accounts that you have Favorited right on your profile page. CNBC's Eli Langer says "Allowing a user to showcase their favorite accounts â€” if that is indeed the direction Twitter is taking â€” on their own profile by favoriting other accounts is the #FollowFriday on steroids," he writes. The Next Web writes that Chinese social networking site Sina Weibo has a similar listing feature, letting users show off the accounts that they like and follow closely.
Since it first started, Twitter has evolved in a somewhat trial-and-error sort of way. @-replies, Retweets, and Direct Messages have become what they are today based largely on the innovative ways that Twitter users have put those functions to use. The Favorites button is becoming something new as well.