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How Twitter Contributors will add another layer of identity

If you follow @smartbrief, @SBoSM or @SBStartup on Twitter, chances are you’ve seen a tweet by me. You just didn’t know it because those accounts are tied more closely with my company’s brand than my own. In the case of @SBoSM, I’m actually sharing posting duties with Rob Birgfeld. Until now, there was no way for users to tell which one of us is behind a given message, but Twitter’s new “Contributors” feature (which is still in a closed beta) will soon allow us to establish separate identities while still sharing the same account.

What will that mean for you? Well, if you’re using Twitter for your business or you’re part of some other kind of group effort, it will mean you can consolidate followers without sacrificing the most precious commodity people can have in the social space: their voice. Seth Goldstein argues that users trump content in social media. I think that’s a glib overstatement — but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a point when he argues that identity matters more than ever. You and I can’t establish a relationship unless we can connect. And we can’t do that unless you know to find me. With contributors tags, we will all get a little closer to that goal.

Is Twitter Contributors really that big a deal? Do you think anyone cares who’s behind each individual tweet? Or is the collective identity more important?