Twitter Quietly Launches A User Directory

You may not have noticed the link, but it’s there in the footer of Twitter’s home page if you’re logged out: “Directory.”

It’s a link to Twitter’s unannounced user directory, an alphabetical collection of all Twitter account holders from A to Z that also includes profiles with non-Latin character names.


Twitter launched the user directory “a few weeks ago,” according to a spokesperson, but hasn’t made a formal announcement about it. That’s likely because it exists more for search engines than for Twitter users — a topic that I cover today in my Search Engine Land article, Twitter’s New SEO Play: A Profile Directory Of All User Accounts.

The directory page says you can “browse public Twitter profiles,” but it includes profiles that are protected, too. Clicking through from the directory to a protected account, however, doesn’t show the person’s tweets; they’re still private.

It’s sorted alphabetically by what’s indicated in the “Name” field of Twitter profiles, not in the “Username” field. The first account in the directory is @006034132, an account that goes by the name “a,” while the last account in the directory is @TOIS60, an account using the name “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.” (Actually, as I write this, that’s the second-to-last account in the directory; the last one is @onedsof, which uses the same “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ” name, but points to a deleted/removed account. That makes me wonder how often Twitter processes account changes and updates the directory.)

Oh, back to that “Directory” link in the footer of Twitter’s home page: I’ve also seen it on and off this weekend in the Twitter menu that shows up in the left column when I’m logged in, too.

In aiming to attract more search engine traffic, Twitter is surely looking to grow its advertising business. More search engine traffic means more page views, and that means more opportunities to display ads — and to have users click on them.

(tip via

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Features & Analysis | Social Media Marketing | Top News | Twitter | Twitter: Accounts & Profiles | Twitter: Marketing


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • FadraN

    I’m thinking this must be a test directory. I’ve looked for multiple accounts that just don’t appear. Or perhaps it’s something that you’ll have to opt in for. Will be keeping my eye out.

  • Scott Clark

    I am hopeful this will result in them rotating out dormant accounts more quickly. It’s ridiculous to have 3 year old dormant usernames held up.

  • Matt McGee

    That would be nice, Scott – I agree.

  • Matt McGee

    Don’t think it’s a test, Fadra. But it’s VERY hard to find accounts. I couldn’t find mine at all, and had to get help from Twitter’s PR folks. :-)

  • Julio Fernandez

    I was not able to find any of my Twitter handles. My main one, @socialJulio should be here: but the directory jumps from
    Socialjuicer · @Socialjuicerto SocialJumbo · @SocialJumbo

  • Matt McGee

    Julio – you’re looking in the wrong place. As I said up in the article, the directory doesn’t use your USERNAME, it uses your NAME. So you should be looking under “Julio” since that’s how you currently have your NAME field in the profile.

  • Giuseppe D’Elia

    I do not see the usefulness of this choice…

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Great point. Maybe the directory will actually help clean up the amount of dormant/bot/spam profiles floating around Twitter.

  • Matt McGee

    Yes, as I said in the article, it’s not really for human use. It’s for search engines. :-)

  • Lizz Porter

    Yes! (Says someone who had to add an annoying underscore)

  • Giuseppe D’Elia

    I think it’s counterproductive. are now already indexed accounts but only the active and popular. with a directory are likely to be all the indexes of search engines.

  • Rachel Roodhardt

    It can’t be a coincidence that this happened a few weeks before google’s latest rounds of algorithmic updates… webmasters take note!

  • jonathannelson

    There has to be a better way of doing this, Twitter.

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