People have been asking me about the new Japanese-only Twitter group feature “Twicco.” It was created by a Japanese company called DG Incubation, who is Twitter’s investor/partner in Japan.
There are some posts and announcements about this service, but I can’t find any detailed English documentation yet — so here’s a quick tour for you.
Creating a “Community”
In Twicco, groups are called communities. You can create your own “community” by:
- Pick a category from the directory
- Create a new Twitter account for your community
- Send a request addition from the category page
- Enter your main Twitter account for verification
The popular community list on the home page includes @iphonefan, @cnet_japan, @toycameras, and @cat_fan.
Using the Community
I’ll use an exisiting community called @wordpress_fan as an example here.
When the followers of your community posts @ reply to the community account, the post will be re-posted by the account. For example, I’m following @wordpress_fan community.
When I post something with @wordpress_fan, this is what happens:
The first post is duplicated and sent from the community account (with my signature). This means all users following @wordpress_fan will get my post via the account, even if they are not following me.
Why Use Community?
Communities are like echo chambers. The followers can echo their posts to other users who have the same interest, but not necessarily following each other. It’s a good way to find people with the same interests, especially for new Twitter users. It will be also useful for following a stream of twitters by event/conference participants.
Twicco is still on alpha testing stage. I have to say the whole process of creating and using the community is more complicated than it should be for both community organizers and followers. However, I’ve been enjoying completely random encounter with interesting tweets by community members whom I would have never known. That’s where the potential for this feature lies (as for anything else): “a new way to find relevant content & people.”
Will it be available in English?
No plan has been announced yet. I’m *guessing* they will be rolling this out for English users only if it all goes well, in terms of popularity, performance and business (Though Twicco states [ja] that commercial use of communities are not allowed, you are supposed to contact them if you are interested).