I absolutely abhor the way Facebook’s news feed shows me status updates out of chronological order unless I choose Recent Posts. Even worse, the social media giant seems to forget my preference for that, defaulting back to their method of showing updates based on some algorithm that only their programmers probably understand. Now Twitter is taking the same route, according to a recent article from Macworld.
For now, the new algorithmic timeline is opt-in only. It will display some tweets out of chronological order, showing you things that Twitter’s programming thinks you might have liked seeing. According to Twitter, it’s based on “engagement and other factors,” and the tweets are pushed to the top of the timeline. Known as “Show me the best Tweets first,” it’s been in testing since December.
According to Twitter, people who use the new feature “tend to Retweet and Tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey promised that the social media network wouldn’t be introducing any drastic changes to the chronological timeline. However, the company plans to turn on the algorithmic timeline by default in coming weeks, which makes me wonder if they really are listening.
Sure, I might miss tweets with the current chronological timeline, but that doesn’t mean I want to see things showing up from the past at the top of my feed. Quite a few Twitter users feel the same way, and the hashtag #RIPTwitter was a worldwide trending topic over the weekend when rumors of the algorithm’s rollout first came to light.
From my end, I hope Twitter truly does listen to its users. If they want to play around with algorithmic timelines, that’s all well and good, but leave it as an opt-in feature instead of enabling it by default.
Featured image credit: The Independent