Twitter’s Follow Button is A Disappointment

Follow Button - The Anti-Social MediaYesterday, Twitter released a Follow Button for websites. Basically, you pick an account you want people to follow, throw some code on your website, and then pray more people will follow that account.

This would have been innovative, in maybe, I don’t know, 2009, but right now, it’s just sad.

Why should I just blindly follow a brand that puts the button on their website? How will I know if their Twitter updates are even relevant to me. On their post about the follow button, Twitter highlights IMDB, which is a perfect example of how broken this is. I go to IMDB for random trivia and information about the movies I watch. IMDB’s Twitter on the other hand, features new trailers, random trivia and updates about a handful actors I don’t give a shit about. Why should I follow them? Their updates bear no relevance to me, and as a user, I can’t easily distinguish if their updates will be relevant.

There are many other more useful widgets that will pull the most recent tweets for a user, and then give them the option to go to Twitter and follow me. These have existed since at least 2008. Twitter even makes a version of its own. How did they just get around now to making a follow button?

Are you going to use the follow button? Would you blindly click the follow button, not knowing what lies beyond? I’m still waiting for the new true revolution in social networking and social graphing. These dull widgets just aren’t cutting it.

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4 Responses to “Twitter’s Follow Button is A Disappointment”

  1. Eric Wittlake June 1, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Jay, you are right, IMDB is a horrible example to use. However, I believe people will use it, for two reasons.

    1) Like does the same thing. It puts news into your facebook feed from companies as soon as you click like.
    2) By keeping people on the site, it is easier to follow. Personally, I will use it to follow a blogger, who likely has their twitter stream on their site and I have been reading content from already.

    But groundbreaking? Certainly not. At best, it removes one click from the process.

    - @wittlake

  2. Morgan June 1, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Not groundbreaking, but it does make it easier for people to follow. I personally wouldn’t blindly follow them on Twitter, however, I know a lot of people who would and that’s who that button is for.

  3. Claire Wagner June 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    I did just use it for someone whose blog I like to read. I usually find that I like the twitter feeds of people whose blogs appeal to me. Like you.

    • Jay June 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

      it makes sense for bloggers and individual authors, hell, even celebrities. But content megasites like IMDB, gawker, AOL, etc, would just be confusing.