Social media is, as we know, yet another twist on the age old popularity contest. But, until today, it seemed to me that the various social networks didn’t directly encourage this. More on that in a moment. But first, I also came across an article a couple of weeks back that spoke of a widening gap on Twitter between those with a huge following count, and those with a small count. Written by @robinwauters of @TechCrunch, it’s definitely worth a look.
So, back on to today… Today I noticed something. Twitter has quietly rolled out some design changes over the last month or two. A font change here, a background change there. But, now there’s something else. I’m calling it the million follower club. Why? Because that is the only immediate link I see between these accounts. What is so different about these “millionaires” when compared with other accounts? Not much. Just a slight difference. Take a look at the screen shot below. (Click on it for a larger version.) The first row are all members of the million follower club. The second row, not. (Though, for good measure, I threw in a couple that are inching their way up there.) See if you can notice the slight difference between the two rows. (Please forgive the crudity of the screen shots. But, I thought it enough to demonstrate the point.)
Did you see it? The fonts for following/followers are bigger and bolder for the million follower club. Is this small adjustment only encouraging this ‘widening gap’? Or, is it so subtle as to not make much of a difference? What do you think?