Twitter to Allow Users to Switch Between Chronological and Algorithmic Timelines
Twitter is making it easier for users to see a full time-ordered list of messages from users they follow — the way the service worked at the start for everyone.
According to a new report from The Verge, the company first sparked an uproar among regular users in 2016 when it announced that it would stop showing users the most recent tweets first and instead allow algorithms to select the “most important tweets.”
But now Twitter says it will make it easier for users to switch back to the old timeline and remove algorithmic features for users who opt out.
In a series of tweets Monday, Twitter said it will soon offer users the option of a timeline that will display tweets in reverse chronological order based on when they were sent. “We’re working on new ways to give you more control over your timeline,” Twitter said in one tweet, adding that it’s working on a “way to switch between a timeline of Tweets that are most relevant for you and a timeline of the latest Tweets.”
As of today, according to the company, users who turn off the “Show the best Tweets first” setting will only see tweets from accounts they follow, in reverse chronological order (newest first). The new feature Twitter says it’s working on will make it easier to toggle back and forth between the filtered and unfiltered mode.
The social networking site added that its goal is to balance the way it shows you the tweets you’d most likely want to see and the most recent ones in the timeline, though Twitter admits it does not always succeed in that effort. It remains to be seen, however, how this decision will help the company bolster user engagement.
“We’ve learned that when showing the best Tweets first, people find Twitter more relevant and useful,” the company said in a statement. “However, we’ve heard feedback from people who at times prefer to see the most recent Tweets. Our goal with the timeline is to balance showing you the most recent Tweets with the best Tweets you’re likely to care about, but we don’t always get this balance right.”