Twitter to roll out new timeline feature

Posted on February 15, 2016

 

Social networking site Twitter has recently announced that it has plans to test a new feature that will affect the way users view content on their news feeds.

The company intends to change its news feeds so that users see content the site deems as the most important to each user. The feature has been named ‘Show Me The Best Tweet First’ with the company stating that it would mean that users will see tweets from the accounts they are more likely to care about and want to see appearing at the top of the news feed. Following this, all other content would then appear underneath these highlighted tweets in reverse chronological order.

The plans have already been deemed controversial by many news outlets, but the social media site has claimed that it would mean that the best content would “shine through” and would allow these tweets to reach a larger potential audience.

When asked about this potential new feature, the California-based company said that this will improve a user’s experience. It revealed that it will determine which tweets are the best and most interesting by analysing how millions of users engage with billions of tweets. A user’s past activity and engagement on the site will also be combined with their interests and what’s going on as part of the effort to determine the tweets that will fall into this new category.

The feature is set to be offered primarily as an optional setting for users of the web version of the site, as well as to those who use the iOS and Android mobile apps. After this initial roll out, the feature will become a permanent feature in the weeks to follow this.

Users of the mobile apps will be able to view these set tweets at the top of their timelines by refreshing the page by using the ‘pull to refresh’ function. If a user does not wish to have this function playing with their timeline, the company has given them the opportunity to disable the feature through the settings menu. The social site has also explained that promoted accounts and their tweets will remain unaffected by these changes.

This isn’t the first time the site has meddled with the timeline, as it previously introduced the ‘While you were away’ filter. Although this was met with a more negative reaction due to its similarities to social media phenomenon Facebook, it still became a permanent feature for Twitter, so it may be something users will have to get used to.

This news means that businesses may have to change their social media strategies in order to gain more interactions if their tweets are to start to appear further down on each user’s news feeds. Digital marketing agencies such as Engage Web can help companies to devise a strategy to ensure businesses get the most out of all social media outlets.

Operations Manager at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Operations Manager.
Alan Littler
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