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Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said yesterday that company engineers can roll out any experimental features they’re testing to one percent of the social network’s users.
For about half an hour today, it looked like they had been busy — and that Twitter was thinking of implementing LinkedIn-style notifications about who has viewed your profile.
26 people have viewed your Twitter profile… twitter.com/EliLanger/stat…
— Eli Langer (@EliLanger) May 30, 2013
That’s a tweet from Eli Langer, CNBC’s social media editor. But no, he didn’t stumble on a Twitter experiment.
Rather, he invented one.
As Langer said on Storify shortly after tweeting that image, he photoshopped it — just to see what his followers would think of the feature.
” I thought the most candid responses would come if people thought the feature existed,” Langer said.
Some liked it, with HuffPo senior editor Craig Kanally saying “wow, that’s so interesting,” but others were worried, noting that Quora recently launched a similar feature and people “freaked out.” The best comment came from @newsjunkie365:
@ckanal @elilanger Oh dear. Twitter stalking just got a lot more complicated. ;)
— newsjunkie365 (@newsjunkie365) May 30, 2013
Some smart and skeptical people, however, sniffed out the mini-scam, and asked Langer if the images were photoshopped. And then he fessed up.
It begs the question, however, whether this would be an good feature for Twitter to adopt. Personally, I think there’s enough noise on Twitter already — enough to have driven me to mass-unfollow over 3,000 accounts just last week, and only start following back a few accounts at a time recently.
But it most certainly would be interesting … in the sense of the probably-fake ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.”
Image credit: John Koetsier/VentureBeat
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