Twitter tweaks its timeline & it’s all about the algorithm

Twitter has added an algorithm to its previously signature characteristic reverse-chronological timeline.

Social media platform Twitter recently announced a very significant and highly controversial change to one of its most significant features; its timeline. The reverse chronological timeline is a feature that has long been a signature of Twitter, so naturally the announcement of the upcoming addition of an algorithm to this feature caused quite a stir across social media.

Twitter has tweaked the news feed stream, much to the outrage of many social media users it has added an algorithm that users that sorts through the news feed and gives priority to content that this algorithm deems to be the most relevant to the user.

This change isn’t too dissimilar from a recent timeline tweak that users saw in early 2015 called ‘While you were away’. This was a feature designed to recap tweets that you have missed since you last opened the app, based on an algorithm that looked at engagement and other user behaviours.

Following reports that Twitter was planning this change, there was an outcry on social media, as users envisaged a Facebook-esque reordered timeline. CEO Jack Dorsey was quick to quell these rumours, reassuring users that this algorithm would not mean the end of the reverse-chronological timeline, it will simply place content which it deems relevant to the user at the top of the feed. The platform posted a blog which let users know that ‘At any time, just pull-to-refresh to see all new Tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience that you already know and love’.

However, with Twitter’s persistent battle to grow and make money, and its struggling share prices, we can expect more change to the platform before long.

Will this be the saving grace that Twitter has been searching for, or will this be the platforms downfall, causing them to lose their loyal user base? Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter.