Like many other devoted Twitter users out there, I was genuinely perplexed and aggravated last week when I heard about the new, algorithm-based timeline that would soon be replacing the chronological, real-time one we all know and love. Well, there’s some good news for those of that hate the upcoming change–we can opt out of it.
Twitter is giving us the option to keep our timelines just the way they are now, but we will need to manually choose that under settings, because at some point in the coming weeks the new algorithm-style timeline will become the default setting.
You can visit this support page from Twitter for how to specifically avoid the change for your computer, iOS, or Android, and it seems relatively simple and pain free. (Note: I went to do this on both my Android phone and laptop, and the options were not there yet, but my timeline hasn’t changed either, so just be sure to keep an eye out for the switch.)
It’s tough to know if this opt out feature was always part of the overall plan, but, when your own users start tweeting #RIPTwitter, it’s probably a good idea to not force a change on them that will stop them from using your service. (Somewhere, the guy at Netflix that thought Qwikster was a good idea is nodding sadly.)
So what exactly is this big (and I would argue fundamental) change? The new timeline will show “relevant” tweets first, ones that “you are likely to care about most.” Those tweets will be determined by “accounts you interact with most, Tweets you engage with, and much more.”
Oh, “much more!”
That’s not all though. Remember when U2 just gave people a free album and everyone got mad (what a weird world), well Twitter thought that was a really good idea.
“Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your Home timeline even more relevant and interesting.”
Twitter does something like this now, but the fact they are making special note of it makes me worried that it could become much more invasive. When they say, “Our goal is to make your Home timeline even more relevant and interesting,” it makes me fearful about how cluttered my (should be) personalized timeline might become. I already follow too many accounts and agonize over whether or not to unfollow some people as it is. (Twitter is the second job without pay I never wanted, but desperately need to work at every day, even if it means going to bed an hour late.)
Between this new timeline and the proposed 10,000 character limit proposal, my favorite social media site might not even exist at this point next year except in name only, and I don’t get it.
Just remember, if you don’t like the new changes you can always tweet about it, and hopefully your complaints will be “relevant” enough to get a spot close enough to the top to get noticed.
So what do you make of all of this? Are you looking forward to the new timeline feature, or do you plan on opting out and sticking with the old one? #TellUs #YourThoughts #Below #CommentsSection