Twitter Quietly Publishes Online Directory, Didn’t Bother Making It Useful To Users

Twitter's online directory

Twitter debuted a white pages online directory to help users leaf through profiles like in a phone book. While it sounds like an interesting and useful concept, the execution has proven bizarre, and worse: useless.

Profiles are neatly arranged at around 100 per page in the online directory quietly launched this week, but finding specific user accounts can be quite the chore. Profiles are listed by first name rather than by Twitter handle, which is bad enough. Finding them is tough, especially for popular names, requiring users to sift through dozens of worthless pages to find what they’re looking for.

An example, via Mashable: Justin Bieber is under “ – jzzzzzzzzz” requiring a Twitter user to search through pages of Justin Bieber profiles to find the actual singer. Celebrity names, like that of the Biebs, are popular user names on Twitter, and the fact that Twitter doesn’t require you to use your real name on a profile only compounds the difficulty.

The idea was to make tweets and profiles more search engine friendly, making the user directory more of an SEO aide rather than a straight and useful in-house application for Twitter users.

What do you think of Twitter’s online directory? Useful, or useless? Should it be tweaked to be a bit more helpful for Twitter users within the site? Sound off!

Dusten Carlson
Dusten has written for web and print and currently spends his time working on his upcoming graphic novel. He is also almost 30 and still has all of his hair.


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  1. The launch of this directory has nothing to do with the users value, it is purely an SEO move for more traction along profiles in the SERP's.

  2. Exactly Alisa, that's why Dusten focused on that aspect towards the end of the article. Although we can't really blame Twitter for attempting to build out its SEO at a time when semantic search has moved to the forefront of Bing, Google and Yahoo searches.