After facing a huge outburst for its plans to move away from a chronological timeline to a relevance-based one, Twitter seems to have come out with a compromise. Last night, the company announced a new Home timeline feature that gives users the option to see the most important tweets from the people they are following.
"There’s so much happening on Twitter every day so it isn’t always easy to catch every Tweet that matters. Twitter’s new timeline feature will surface relevant Tweets based on information like who you follow and what you engage with so the content that is interesting to you is easy to discover whether you stay on Twitter all day or visit for a few minutes," said the company in a press statement.
To avail of the feature, users need to turn it on in the settings by clicking on ‘Show me the best Tweets first’. Once this is done tweets that Twitter's new algorithm deems the ones the user is most likely to care about will appear at the top of the timeline in reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order.
To see all tweets in the normal reverse chrnological order, the user needs to refresh the timeline.
"People who use this new feature tend to Retweet and Tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone. Brands that create quality content have always performed well on Twitter. With this update, whether it comes from an SMB, large brand, consumer, or athlete you follow, the best content shines through. Twitter has seen an increase in engagement for brands’ organic Tweets and an increase in engagement for Tweets about live events," said the company.
Twitter said that Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts will work the same way as always and are not affected by this change. Brands will still have access to the same suite of creative, measurement, and targeting tools to make sure theirs ads display to the right people, at just the right moment.
Earlier this week Twitter faced a lot of backlash when it was rumored that it would be introducing a relevance-based timeline. The current version seems to be Twitter opting for a 'best-of-bot-worlds' approach.
However, reaction by Twitter users has been split. Many have appreciated the fact that Twitter has made the feature optional, while others have still criticized the change. Some have also expressed disappointed that the change was carried out despite CEO Jack Dorsey cateogrically denying it earlier.