It Turns Out Twitter's Algorithmic Timeline is (Sort of) Real

By Tom Pritchard on at

Last week there was an unholy shitstorm of angry people taking to the Twittersphere to express their disgust at rumours claiming Twitter would use algorithms to sort its timeline - essentially turning it into Facebook. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey then declared that such a thing was not happening. Today, it turns out that it is. Sort of, anyway.

Today Twitter has confirmed that it will be introducing a brand new feature that pushes the 'best tweets' right to the top of your timeline. It's rather inventively named 'Show Me the Best Tweets First'. The rest of the tweets in your timeline will be shown in reverse chronological order, as they always have been.

The crucial point to make is that unlike a lot of daft features Twitter has introduced over the years (like that pesky 'While You Were Gone' thing), users will be able to opt out of Show Me the Best Tweets First.

Why make the change? Well apparently testing showed that people were far more likely to tweet and retweet posts with the feature turned on. Plus Twitter’s senior director of product, Jeff Siebert, claims that it will ensure people won't fail to catch up on anything important by showing people the tweets that Twitter thinks are most important to them.

The option to turn it on is set to go live next week, and in a few weeks time it'll be turned on for everyone by default. If you don't want it, you'll have to go into the settings and turn it off yourself.

[Twitter via The Guardian]