The saga of Nuzzel comes to its inevitable conclusion: getting built into Twitter proper. I was genuinely surprised to see media people lamenting this as I thought it had happened years ago (Nuzzel had earlier been acquired by newsfeed app Scroll, which is the company that Twitter is scooping up).
I was an early fan of Nuzzel and, for certain stretches of time, it was the primary way I navigated Twitter. Mostly, it was a personal revolt against Twitter’s algorithmic timeline, something I still lament but have ultimately given in to. For a certain generation of Twitter user who didn’t care about Twitter’s goals of increasing engagement, a combination of using lists of followers plus an app like Nuzzel was a way to keep what was good without fully succumbing to Twitter’s black box.
If you never tried Nuzzel out, the ingenious bit was it generated a feed comprised solely of links from the people you followed. By default, a link had to appear from multiple followees in order to show up in your feed and, unlike the algorithms that drive social media, you could tweak those to your own personal liking.
Media people loved it and Nuzzle was able to build topic-driven reports as well as a newsletter curation product. Obviously, that level of nuance and fiddling makes for much more of a niche product than the sort of general purpose news firehose that Twitter provides, but it’s always been a solid, well-thought out product. I’m glad to hear there are plans to keep the ideas that Nuzzel germinated in place, post-acquisition.
It sounds like Nuzzel will get integrated into Twitter’s plans for subscription newsletters, which seems like an ideal fit. A “Nuzzel signal” built into a newsreader that highlights posts from people you follow or links that have been surfaced by your curated lists would be really useful and a welcome alternative to the opaque algorithmic feed.