Twitter's new timeline to feature tweets it thinks you want to see most

By Dmitry Rashnitsov  |  Feb. 10, 2016 at 1:35 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Users of social network Twitter will now be able to view tweets from the people they follow in a non-chronological order, similiar to Facebook's Top Stories feature.

"Today, we're excited to share a new timeline feature that helps you catch up on the best tweets from people you follow," said Twitter Senior Engineering Manager Mike Jahr in a post on the social network's official blog Wednesday morning. "We've already seen that people who use this new feature tend to retweet and tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone."

Since it's inception, Twitter has always posted tweets in a chronological order, but the company is unveiling a new formula that will push more important tweets to the top of thje timeline viewing order. Facebook rolled this out several years ago as a way for brands and advertisers to get their message in front of eyeballs. While Twitter has not specifically mentioned advertisers with this new update, the thought process is that this change is being pushed by the need for Twitter to grow its revenue and user base after a sluggish 18 months since its debut as a publically traded company.

Since September 2014, the Twitter timeline layout has undergone many small and large changes, with backlash from users nearly instantaneous every time.

The latest timeline maneuver will be rolled out slowly across the user base. Early adaptors can turn the option on now while all others will get an alert letting them know when their account has gone through the conversion.

For now Twitter will allow users to revert back to the original timeline if they are not satisfied with the format.

The most disgruntled typers created the hashtag #RIPTwitter to show their displeasure with the news.

"If Twitter actually changes the timelines to most relevant instead of most recent, then I'm done with Twitter #RIPTwitter," wrote @flaminkait.

User ‏@mor1019chacha chimed into the debate: "Dear Twitter, I wanna decide who I follow, what I read. I don't need algorithms to decide that for me. #RIPTwitter."

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