NEWS UPDATE: Twitter’s All Grown Up?

By Kate Skinner | @Skinner_Tweets 8540535352_cb0702f1a0_z

 

The Twitterverse isn’t twitterpated with Twitter’s new timeline algorithm.

Why?

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the latest tech news, Twitter’s Senior Engineering Manager Mike Jahr announced a new feature in a blog post last Wednesday. Now, when users open the app or visit the website, there will be a section of tweets at the top of the timeline. These are tweets that you are “most likely to care about” - no word yet on how Twitter gathers this information. This section contains recent tweets from the accounts users want to stay connected with, allowing for more interactions.

Users were immediately upset about losing the reverse chronological order feature in favor of something more like Facebook’s News Feed. But not to worry, the update is supposed to maintain this long-time feature. Simply scroll past the “best tweets” section to see the normal timeline, or refresh the screen to see the most recent tweets.

(Also, did we mention that the new timeline is optional? As of right now, you can opt-in for the service. Once it becomes universal, you can still turn it off.)

Other users brought up valid but unrelated concerns. Although we would certainly love an edit button, #RIPTwitter seems like a bit of an exaggeration. It’s not like they’re changing the 140 character limit, right?

These changes are promising for advertisers: Now, “pay to play” combines with targeting audiences relevant to specific markets. This feature is nice for brand introduction as well.

Growing pains are part of staying alive in this ever-changing social media market. True, Twitter’s share-price numbers have been falling. But Twitter has already remained static for far too long, as former head of news Vivian Schiller puts it. Implementing the timeline algorithm is just one step towards keeping Twitter relevant. Even if the new update isn’t all that different from “While you were away.”

The real question: How will time-sensitive tweets remain front-and-center? If these changes continue, what does the future hold for live-tweeting events or news organizations?

Tell us what you think! Comment below or tweet us at @socialmediadel.

Will Nesbit