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Twitter’s new algorithm to do away with chronological timelines


By Seb Joseph, News editor

February 6, 2016 | 4 min read

Twitter is reportedly set to introduce an algorithm that will display either the most relevant or most timely tweets, not just those that are the most recent.

The change could arrive as early as next week, according to Buzzfeed News, in what could be one of the more drastic in a string of changes the social network is working on. While the report does not detail whether the update will be optional for users, other sources have said it would be strictly opt-in, echoing a similar stance Facebook adopted when updating its own timeline.

The move seems aimed to surfacing the most popular content on Twitter, which has been a key issue for the site. In 2014, Twitter’s chief financial officer said the popular reverse chronological order of the timeline isn’t “the most relevant user experience” given that more valuable tweets to a user could get buried at the bottom of the feed.

While Twitter’s timeline is used to keep up to date with news, a more curated experience could go some way to keeping people within the social network for longer and making it less of an overwhelming experience for newer users.

It would be appear Twitter fans aren’t happy about the rumoured change, with many voicing their anger on the platform. Here are some of the angry tweets, which have used the #RIPTwitter hashtag, which was the number one trending topic on the hashtag at the time this article was published.

Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey is pushing to make the social network he co-founded a more intuitive service. Since he returned to helm the business last October, he has gone about streamlining the social network, while also launching Twitter Moments, allowing for longer direct messages and showing more popular tweets to everyone who visits from their smartphone.


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