Twitter is going to turn your timelines upside down, and Twitter-loyalists are prepared to fight.
As early as next week, Twitter will be switching its timelines over from displaying tweets in reverse-chronological order, to an algorithmic timeline, Buzzfeed reported Friday.
An algorithm is a computer-generated system used on Facebook, which displays posts in order of what it thinks users want to see, and prioritizes certain users and stories.
But the backlash has already started to keep the site’s layout as is.
The hashtag #RIPTwitter started trending on the platform Saturday, with users mourning the loss of up to the minute posts, and others rallying for it remain unchanged.
— Myteks Media Labs (@myteks) February 6, 2016
— arelly ¨̮ (@tinykidzjm) February 6, 2016
I’m confused as to why Twitter is so hellbent on destroying Twitter? #RIPTwitter ✊
— Daniel Bostic (@debostic) February 6, 2016
We. Just. Wanted. A. Freaking. EDIT. BUTTON. #RIPTwitter
— We Are T (@lipwigvimes) February 6, 2016
"Excuse me, why don’t you use Twitter?"
"Well, strangers like to threaten my life."
"Got it. We’ll only show the most popular threats!"
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) February 6, 2016
The company’s CFO Anthony Noto hinted more than a year ago that Twitter would be exploring a curated timeline since its real-time set up would leave somethings buried at the bottom of the page. But others argued that that was useful when breaking news, like protests in Ferguson, Mo. unfolded, with Twitter giving frequent updates, while Facebook’s algorithm only let a few posts through.
Over the years, Twitter has struggled to maintain its user growth, compared to other popular social media platforms including Facebook and others like Instagram and WhatsApp. But the tweaks made since Jack Dorsey returned as CEO to keep the platform fresh have not been well received.
When the “favourite” button became a “like” and the button’s shape went from a star to a heart to boot, users recoiled.
And the “moments” tab seems to have been its first stab at a curated highlights section, but it was more or less run out of town by an enraged mob of Twitter users, so to speak.
There have also been talks of increasing the character count from 140 to a whopping 10,000.
Some are saying that the new algorithmic timeline will be optional, but this has not yet been confirmed. Twitter has yet to comment on the change, or release a statement.
Sources at Twitter tell me algorithms are strictly opt in.
— Josh Sternberg (@joshsternberg) February 6, 2016