Ever wanted to know what scrolling through your favourite celebrities Twitter feeds might be like, this app can give you an idea. Vicariously allows you to automatically create Twitter lists based on the users another account is following.
Vicariously: How it Works
The app was made by Jake Harding, an entrepreneur who built it as a side project. Essentially, it copies the followers of a target account and builds a list out of the accounts that it follows.
This, in a sense, enables you to create the exact (minus algorithmic tweak) experience/feed that any given user sees when they open their app. Before this, Twitter already had a built-in feature like this.
It allowed you to just click through and view someone’s follower graph as a feed with a tap. However, Twitter felt that someone’s feed is private and should be kept that way and dropped the project twice.
This is also a reason as to why they are not so happy about this project.
Twitter Does Not Like it, But They are not Stopping it Either
Twitter says that one of the big side effects is that it spams every person it adds to the list. This is because Twitter always notifies you when someone adds you to a list and there is no current way to alter that behaviour.
However, to be fair, they did also say they ‘love’ it but that it will have to find a different way to do what it does.
“We love that Vicariously uses Lists to help people find new accounts to follow and get new perspectives. However, the way the app is currently doing this is in violation of Twitter’s automation rules,” Twitter said in a statement. “We’ve reached out to them to find a way to bring the app into compliance with our rules.”
In response to this, Harding posted some tweets from the official Vicariously account. He notes that he is adding some privacy controls to the app. He’s also hoping to work with the Twitter developer relations team to build out the product in a way that prevents abuse.
Finally, I've been overwhelmed with the feedback I've received today. Much of it positive, some of it negative, all of it appreciated.
I have a bunch of thoughts and opinions on today's opening of pandora's box, but I'll save those for my personal account ✌️ /cc @JakeHarding
— Vicariously (@getvicarious) July 28, 2020
Until then, maybe Twitter will add a ‘can not be added to lists’ feature.