Microblogging site Twitter has recently altered the way in which it displays replies to tweets, by ranking them based on a set of criteria.
Replies to tweets are now ranked according to signals that the site’s algorithms detect. This includes whether a user follows the account of the person who replied to their tweet and whether the author of the original tweet replied to the tweet, if a user is looking at other replies.
These rankings are personalized, which means that different users will see a different set of replies. However, if the user wishes, they can still expand the tweet to view the full conversation threads.
The feature ranks more popular replies higher than others, so a tweet that has gained a lot of interaction through likes and retweets will rank higher than replies that seem to have been glossed over. As well as this, the changes also include a conversation count, so that the user can see which tweets are generating the most engagement in terms of the number of replies.
The ultimate purpose of the conversation ranker is so that a user does not have to spend additional time searching for the most relevant discussions to them, as they should now appear at the top of the replies list.
Although this feature is new to the mobile version of the site, the company says that it brought this particular design to the web version of the site more than 12 months ago, in June 2015.
Twitter announced the changes by updating its help guide on having conversations on the platform. As well as this, it updated its Twitter Support account, informing users of the changes it has made.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 29, 2016
This is not the first change to the site that Twitter has recently introduced. During the middle of November, the company announced that it is giving users the chance to apply filters to their accounts, meaning that they can block out abusive comments by muting tweets containing certain keywords or phrases.
It is a feature that can be used in many different ways by many different users, but is one that was constantly requested by users of the site. The introduction of both this and the reply changes shows that Twitter is attempting to recover from a tricky year by listening to those who use the site, and making sure the user experience is as simple and enjoyable as possible for personal and business users alike.