The one thing Twitter can do to make users love them again.

Imagine the scene. You wake up in the morning, you bounce out of bed and punch the air because it’s your birthday! (Yeah click the link, it’s not Stevie Wonder…..)

The Analogue Birthday

Your friends would know it was your birthday and they send you cards, gifts and text you. Friends know when it’s your birthday.

You drink your tea at breakfast and read all the witty cards, you smile, your day is good.

The Digital Birthday

Now look at the ways social media handle this. Facebook notifications are plain and simple, “it’s so and so’s birthday, say something!”. They make it easy. The Meta overlords even give me a box to type in. “Hey, you’re a complete stranger to me in all reality but happy birthday!”

You drink your tea at breakfast and read the witty timeline comments, you smile, your day is good.

Then you go to Twitter…..

Twitter is awkward, really awkward. To the point that you have to screenshot you own birthday and then tweet to the world that it’s your birthday, because, let’s be honest. No one really looks at your profile…. You literally have to beg people to say happy birthday to you.

Do you know the worst thing in the world? Knowing it’s your birthday and no one else in the room does. Now you have to somehow add to the conversation that it’s your birthday…. it’s awkward, it’s not that gentle and some may see it as attention seeking. This is Twitter on your birthday.

The Timeline Topic Attack

Twitter thinks we want to see posts from strangers and about topics we’re kind of interested in. So with that kind of 240 character eyeball manipulation it’s not that hard to engineer something that will tell your followers it’s your birthday.

And trust me, it’s a massive psychological win for the users who have a birthday that day. What’s better than getting messages from your friends on your birthday, without prompting, without posting screenshots of some moving balloons….

Yeah, make it optional in the profile settings. Not everyone will want to do it, I understand that.

But the good folks at Twitter, you can do this and your active user count would go up, I’m gut sure of it. Active user engagement going up 10% because you reminded people it was someone’s birthday. Priceless.

Get your people to talk to my people :)

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Jason Bell

Jason Bell

Author of Machine Learning: Hands on for Devs/TechProfs for Wiley. An OpenUK Ambassador and a Confluent Kafka Community Catalyst.