In case you missed the news, Twitter announced a new election page that will help its users filter all the election tweets across its network so users can find what they’re looking for as soon as possible. Twitter claims it decided to launch the service after seeing a spike in the number of tweets surrounding the election and the candidates.
The page is different than your run-of-the-mill Twitter page and it does a fine job of finding what you want, when you want. But it highlights an important point that shouldn’t be overlooked: Twitter needs more of these pages.
One of the most appealing aspects of Present.ly, a Twitter clone for the enterprise, is its ability to offer groups. In other words, if you own a company and you only want management to correspond on Present.ly without letting the other employees see what they’re saying, it’s quick and easy to set that up. But in the world of Twitter, you can’t create groups among your friends.
But what if you could create a group of like-minded individuals with interests much like your own on Twitter, regardless of whether or not they’re your friends? It would not only appeal to the majority of users who are trying to meet new people who are “in” to the same things, but it will help Twitter finally address some of its users’ desires.
And now that the election page has launched, we know that it’s possible. After all, how many people who couldn’t care less about the election will really go to that Twitter election page? What Twitter has done with that page is create an environment where people who care about the election and want to see what everyone else thinks can congregate and have a real discussion on the topics that interest them.
That functionality provides significant value to users and it adds a totally new layer of usability that simply can’t be overlooked. Twitter should start creating pages on other popular topics, like sports or celebrity gossip — things that a large group of people can get behind.
Once that proves successful (and it will), Twitter can use that $15 million in funding it just raised to give some of that functionality to its users. Why can’t I create a writing group on Twitter? Why can’t you create a TechCrunch reader group? Both would help us connect with those who have similar interests and we can probably do a better job of meeting new people and getting to know others through Twitter.
Twitter offers an experience that appeals to those who want to only converse with their friends. But now that it has launched an election page, it’s abundantly clear that there’s simply no reason why you can’t create groups to extend the functionality of Twitter and create an experience that goes beyond the basic functionality already being offered.