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TfL overhauls social media updates in response to new Twitter timeline

Transport for London is to change how frequently it will post to its Twitter accounts, and the types of content it will post, in response to the introduction of the algorithmic timeline.

The company will now tweet less about minor alerts and delays and will no longer report on real-time service disruption on bus routes and specific Underground lines. Instead, it will only alert users to major disruptions and incidents, since these are likely to be seen at the top of the algorithmic timeline when users first log in.

The organisation, which is responsible for social media accounts related to the London Underground, London Overground, DLR, bus and cycle hire services, said that Twitter’s changes to the timeline have “impacted upon our ability to reliably deliver these real-time status updates to our followers”.

It is one of the first examples of a company adapting its social media policy in response to the new timeline.

In the announcement, posted on its official blog, TfL said: “Now selected content on Twitter is shown out of sequence, we will reduce the amount of minor alerts and focus on providing up-to-the-minute alerts for major issues, as well as a renewed focus on customer service across our various accounts.”

However, it moved to assured users that the monitoring of situations will not be reduced, adding: “Our teams will continue to work day and night to support customers including First Contact who take care of the Tube line Twitter feeds as well as CentreComm and LSTCC who have access to everything from iBus (our system for tracking London Buses) to police helicopters monitoring London from above.”

Twitter’s algorithmic timeline, which will display the most relevant content to a user first before any real-time tweets, was announced earlier this week alongside a premium ad space called First View.

Source: TfL

Featured by The Drum