Make me care

Twitter improved their New Follower email last year by adding Followers, Tweets and Following. But they left out one very important piece of information – the Bio. To me, if they had added in that one variable, the email would be perfect. Because then you not only know their twitter usage, but who they are.

By leaving it out, Twitter has made everyone soulless. Follower counts are numbers. Cold statistics that tell me frequency and popularity. A bio gives me flavor. A bio also gives me reason to act.

If someone with 2 followers and 0 tweets is a bio-less person whose name doesn’t ring a bell, I am unlikely to follow them based on the email. But if they are affiliated with a school I attended, a company I worked at, a city I lived in, or if their bio grabs me in any way, I will likely follow them regardless of the statistics.

But I don’t even get that far. Because what happens with me, and likely most people, is that most of the time they don’t even bother clicking through to the web to decide whether to follow or not. Who has the time?

If the bio doesn’t entice me, it is not going to entice me just because I was forced to click through to the web to read it. By leaving out the bio, Twitter is reducing the velocity of interactions, reducing the connections. That’s not a good thing for the service.

People are busy. Good product design should make it easy for people to care and easy for them to act in the moment of caring.