Twitter's Algorithmic Timeline is Now Switched On by Default

Lizzy Finnegan

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Mar 11, 2015
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Twitter's Algorithmic Timeline is Now Switched On by Default

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While users can still opt out of the new timeline - for now, at least - the company began making it the default setting for users.

At some time during the past few days, Twitter began to activate its algorithmic timeline, which organizes a user's timeline (where they see the tweets of users that they have followed) based off what the company thinks they will be most interested in. Previously, Twitter had used a reverse chronological order timeline.

When the feature was first introduced, it was portrayed as a feature that users could choose to activate, with Senior Engineering Manager Mike Jahr writing: "You flip on the feature in your settings; then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you're most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline - still recent and in reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always. At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new Tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love."

The new feature, and the option to opt-in, was announced on the company's blog [https://blog.twitter.com/2016/never-miss-important-tweets-from-people-you-follow] on February 10. At that time, the company said that it would be turning the feature on "in the coming weeks."

Critics of the new timeline have stated that, by intentionally following specific users, they are already making the choice of what content they want to see. Others have expressed concern that this tool could be used to filter out controversial voices. True or not, at this time it is still possible to opt out of this new timeline in your settings.


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PsychicTaco115

I've Been Having These Weird Dreams Lately...
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Apr 10, 2020
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Companies, stop trying to make algorithms that will predict what I want

If I want it, I'll get it myself
 

totheendofsin

some asshole made me set this up
Jul 31, 2009
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As irritating as it is at least it's still optional, I just wish it was still opt in rather than opt out
 

CrazyBlaze

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Jul 12, 2011
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You know how I can find what I want? By looking at things in order. Boom. There we go.
 

notred360

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PsychicTaco115 said:
Companies, stop trying to make algorithms that will predict what I want

If I want it, I'll get it myself
It's not so much tweets you want to see, It's tweets twitter wants you to see. Whether you agree with it or not, twitter has been laying on it's political views pretty heavy.
 

Zontar

Mad Max 2019
Feb 18, 2013
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Oh boy, they're leaving the door open for people to not be forced to use the shitty system literally no one asked for and everyone and their dog knows it's a bad idea.

This is something that's been confusing the hell out of me form these tech company types: how the hell are they so disconnected from reality and their own user base that universal rejection of an idea is still one that gets the go-ahead?

Also, while I can understand there are plenty of morons who don't understand how twitter works (you use a hashtag, don't be surprised if someone you don't know comments on it) but remember a few months back how a twitter programmer showed he had no idea how his own company's system works when his tweet went viral? How the hell does that even happen?
 

Politrukk

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May 5, 2015
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After asking me if I liked the feature 30 times in a row, they have now decided to force it on me.

Don't ask me if I like something if you're not going to listen Twitter.
 

Geisterkarle

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Dec 27, 2010
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Ok, I'm not really using twitter that much ... but is this just a mobile phone thing? I don't find anything to change on my PC/real browser
 

fix-the-spade

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So essentially this system will give sponsored and/or advertising Tweets priority at all times?

That what it sounds like, since Tweets from accounts with large numbers of followers will automatically gain precedent within the algorithm.

Doesn't sound very exciting to me.
 

vallorn

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Nov 18, 2009
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Doesn't this defeat the purpose of what many people use Twitter for? As a way of keeping up with to-the-second news and commentary? It was that method of using it that made Twitter take off with journalists, reporters and others who could use it to quickly figure out what was going on in the world but if this algorithm goes through then that will be harder to do.

Twitter, wtf are you thinking? Stop it before you do yourself a mischief.
 

Stewie Plisken

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Jan 3, 2009
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Facebook tried this and it didn't go well, based on the results on my timeline and I certainly don't trust Twitter "your notifications are clogged with RTs & Favs by bots" to develop an algorithm that will decide what I like-- I mean, what I should like to see.

Also, this:

Doesn't this defeat the purpose of what many people use Twitter for? As a way of keeping up with to-the-second news and commentary? It was that method of using it that made Twitter take off with journalists, reporters and others who could use it to quickly figure out what was going on in the world but if this algorithm goes through then that will be harder to do.

Twitter, wtf are you thinking? Stop it before you do yourself a mischief.