The architecture of information:
According to a report on The Verge, Twitter is testing a means for users to follow topics in much the same way that they follow Twitter accounts. Topics would include sports and entertainment, and would be determined algorithmically.
Why is Twitter doing this?
The move represents Twitter’s latest effort to help users find the best content on the platform even if they don’t know which accounts to follow. For years, the company has sought to make it easier for people to find value in Twitter, which can be foreboding for newcomers.
This sounds like something you can already do with hash tags. However, as the report points out, this feature may not be easily discoverable for new users. It makes sense to surface topics over (or at least in parallel) to accounts, since “interests” can be as much (or more) fodder for conversation than what we traditionally think of as accounts. (I.e., Loci representative of — and curated by — either individuals or organizations.) Still, this sounds like an important change to Twitter’s conceptual model.