10.02.2016 Twitter: The timelines they are a-changin’

On Saturday, it was rumoured Twitter was planning to change its timeline function so it prioritised tweets it considered were most relevant to you on the stream, instead of the reverse-chronological order we’ve been used to.

Well, today it was introduced. If you go into your settings, you’ll find an option to ‘Show me the best tweets first’. By enabling it, a number of tweets will appear at the top of your timeline when you open the app that Twitter’s algorithms have deemed most appropriate for you.

Despite the huge uproar over the rumours, the reality of the new timeline doesn’t seem to be hugely different to Twitter’s existing ‘While you were away’ feature, which allows you to see a chunk of the most popular tweets you may have missed in between using the platform. If you don’t like the new function, simply pull or click to refresh and it reverts back to the reverse chronological time line.

Yesterday Twitter also announced a new advertising product that allows brands to buy placement at the top of a timeline. These announcements are set to continue for Twitter, as it experiences new lows for its shares. Stock plummeted after rumours Twitter was going to increase its character limit to 10,000. It will be interesting to see the impact of this announcement.

What do we think?

Like many, we panicked when we heard the rumours on Saturday. The best thing about Twitter is its ‘liveness’; an algorithmic news feed would prevent you from discovering those great tweets that you stumble upon in the previous feed.

Post announcement, we’re much happier. Okay, Twitter is changing things up a bit, but it’s not being forced upon us. For the meantime you can opt in or out of the feature (we’re opting in, just to give it a chance) and simply remove it by refreshing your feed.

It’s not intrusive, but we can see the potential for it to get annoying. The office is currently split over whether the ‘While you were gone’ function is a handy way to catch up or an annoying pop up.

We’re interested to hear your opinions, let us know what you think @BrighterComms