Twitter is launching @TwitterFood today, a dedicated account that sifts through the myriad food-related tweets shared on the social network and offers up a curated selection of hand-picked missives from heavyweights in the field, including Martha Stewart and Alton Brown, as well as choice posts from the general public.
The Twitter Food account is a smart idea for a company looking to expand its appeal in order to find a new, more general audience. While the network has a strong cadre of die-hard users, it’s still struggling to gain a foothold in the broader market the way Facebook has managed to do.
Food isn’t the company’s first curated feed; Twitter Music and Twitter Sports operate in much the same way, for instance. But focusing on areas of high engagement that’s more likely to appeal to user groups beyond news hounds and real-time information junkies is a wise decision.
Onboarding remains one of the biggest challenges facing Twitter in terms of growth; curated feeds like Twitter Food offer one-stop shopping for new users, giving them a smattering of high-quality content relevant to their needs from which they can branch out and find new follows to fill their timeline.
It’s also a good way to avoid irritating faithful users of the service but keeping the basic mechanics (i.e. time-based timelines) in place while making it easier for new users to get beyond the initial “so what now?” feeling that can accompany signing up without any close friends to follow or clear intent in terms of why you joined.
The financial picture painted by Twitter’s earnings release yesterday isn’t all that rosy, and user growth was a key causal factor there, so anything that can contribute to growth is a worthwhile effort right now.