Twitter’s fame was largely built around the fact that it was a micro-blogging service, fast information in bite size chucks updating every second, enough news to fill even the broadest minds. We thought it couldn’t get better than that until the social media giant announced that it was rolling out a new algorithm which will now display your tweets from the people you follow based on their relevance to your activity history.
In a nutshell tweets that Twitter thinks people most want to see will appear at the top of the timeline beginning with the most recent first, which is a complete about turn from the reverse-chronological format that has been fundamental to the real-time service since its founding.
When you open twitter in your web browser on mobile app you will notice that tweets that you have missed while being offline (that are relevant to your recent activity) will show first, should you continue to scroll past these you will once again find yourself in a space of familiarity where tweets are once again displayed by reverse chronological order.
The new way of serving your content to you that you would of consumed (should you have been online) but have missed because you have been offline, is essentially an expansion of the “while you were away” feature introduced about a year ago.
The new timeline will be turned on by default in coming weeks but should you wish to, users can turn it off in your account settings at any time.
In 2015 approximately 262 million people used Twitter around the world according to research done by eMarketer. It’s expected that even more people will engage with the platform this year, with estimates of an 11% increase, that’s an incredible figure of 291 million people.
Consider the vast amount of Tweets that can be created by 291 million people, now consider how much content you may be missing while you are away from your Twitter feed, By doing this we can begin to understand the thinking behind the change.
With the old display format, users often miss relevant content but, with the new timeline display Twitter is able to mine your data and engagement history, for example the accounts you follow, the tweets you interact with, the topics that interest you and the activity of people similar to you. Twitter then uses this information to show you tweets it thinks will interest you, much like Facebook shows you your updates from friends.
We personally like the new way of Twitters feed, it makes it far easier to keep up to date on what’s been said by our favorite people, brands and companies but, like all things new on social media the response to this new feature has resulted in many people expressing their displeasure – a prime example should you want to read what people are saying is to search for the #RIPTwitter hashtag.
What are your thoughts on the new way of displaying tweets in your Twitter feed? We would love to hear your thoughts and welcome you to engage with us on Twitter, our handle is AOM_JHB.