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Twitter launches Connections feature

New feature shows users common contacts

Twitter has launched a feature designed to show users common contacts and thus serve as a mechanism to suggest people to follow.

Now, when a user visits another's profile, a section called Connections displays their shared followers, as well as the people whom they both follow.

Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner announced the launch of Connections through her Twitter feed on Wednesday. "From twitter.com, you can now see connections that you share w/ a specific user when you go to that user's profile," she wrote.

Other social media and social-networking services, including Facebook, have similar variations of this feature, all intended to motivate users to expand their list of contacts from among shared "friends" or "followers".

The more contacts someone has on services like Twitter and Facebook, the more engaged they are likely to become with that particular service, something that was a challenge for Twitter at one point early on, because many users signed up, looked around and didn't come back.

This week, Experian reported that the number of monthly US adult visitors to Twitter.com fell 14 percent in November 2010 compared with November 2009.

However, those who visit Twitter.com are doing so more often and are spending more time on the site per month, from an average 1 hour and 51 minutes in November 2009 to an average of 2 hours and 12 minutes in November 2010, according to Experian.

Currently, Twitter has almost 200 million registered user accounts. About 110 million "tweets" are posted every day, 40 percent of which come from mobile devices, according to Penner.

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