Skip to main content

Here comes the switch: Twitter ready to launch algorithmic timeline

According to a new report, Twitter may be about to flip the switch on a change that will significantly alter the way items show up in your timeline. With the change, Twitter will switch from showing tweets in reverse chronological order to algorithmically showing what it thinks users want to see at that moment. The report comes from Buzzfeed News, which says that Twitter may implement the change as soon as next week:

Say hello to a brand new Twitter. The company is planning to introduce an algorithmic timeline as soon as next week, BuzzFeed News has learned.The timeline will reorder tweets based on what Twitter's algorithm thinks people most want to see, a departure from the current feed's reverse chronological order.

Twitter has sported the reverse chronological order since its inception, so the change, which is more akin to Facebook's way of organizing its news feed, would be a major one. Twitter has reportedly been testing the feature for quite a while in preparation for a wider launch, and it's not yet entirely clear whether the algorithmic timeline will be launched as an option, or whether users will be forced into it.

Source: Buzzfeed News

69 Comments
  • Please let this be optional. I hate having to keep changing my fb feed from top stories to most recent because it insists on trying to show me what it feels is important.
  • *comment on a post. Realise it's from three days ago. Feel like a creeper.* Thanks Facebook! You dumbshit... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Commenting on Facebook on a 3 days post is a bad thing? Maybe you should move to Snapchat.
  • They're just pushing me to delete my account. Unless this is a good thing and I'm failing to see how it is. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's not. People want to see things as they happen which means in chronological order. These social media sites need to quit trying to decide what we want to see for us.
  • Well if it involves an algorithm within Twitter, then a 3rd party app is unlikely to have an effect. Or will it? This does not make me happy. Posted via the Android Central App
  • In before Twitter makes this compulsory on third party apps.
  • Twitterverse is exploding with pleas for them to not do this. Hoping it won't affect third party clients.
  • I'll be going 3rd party if they do this
  • Try Falcon Pro!
  • Twitter will most likely make all the third party apps use the algorithm.
  • In other words, Facebook f*cked the timeline and made using Facebook a nightmare and Twitter is going to do the same.
    Can't wait to see their next earnings report.
  • Exactly, let's be like Facebook and screw the customer too. Thanks Twidiots.
  • Keep in mind... Unless you're spending money on Facebook or Twitter, you are not their customer, you are their product. Pretty much how all free services work... They definitely can screw up with their customers, by tampering with their millions of "products" however....
  • Agree, but remember that companies that mess with their product too much lose customers... New Coke anyone? As their product, users ARE ultimately in control. It just depends on whether they choose to be sheep or not. ... Joe K. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly, or rather, Friendster or MySpace anyone lol
  • Hey 3rd party apps....don't do this.
  • They won't have a choice in the matter when Twitter forces them to do it.
  • I'm not saying that I would delete my account, but I probably wouldn't use it anymore
  • Ladies & Gentlemen, remember this day. In the future when people ask what happened to Twitter. This happened. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yep, another social media giant bites the dust.
  • Yeah, because Facebook is seriously hurting since they made a similar switch. You might not like it, I might not like it, but the service will go on. Don't be silly. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm saying for me personally, I'm sure this won't cause them to lose a substantial amount of users but they'll lose me because to me the chronological order of tweets is what I like most about Twitter. Real time information. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Good God, Facebook is barely usable after switching to something similar. Hopefully it's optional. Posted via the Android Central App
  • STOP! You don't get to make my decisions for me. Who the hell do these companies think they are? This has been one of the worst things about Facebook for years and now twitter is about to be ruined. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes, they do. It's their company, their rules. No one is forcing you to use it, Felicia.
  • No stupid algorithm knows better than i do what i want to see. It's so stupid of Twitter to try to be more like Facebook. Not being like Facebook is why I'm on Twitter. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Considering your name, I think it's safe to say, everyone knows better than you.
  • RIP Twitter.
  • I use Falcon. No promoted Tweets or ads. Hopefully they don't change the order. Best $ spent.
  • Given Twitter's track record when it comes to third party clients, I daresay they'll make the new algorithm compulsory for them.
  • Unfortunately, Falcon Pro support seems to be waning since the author got hired by Twitter to work on their client.
  • Hey, maybe he worked on the algorithm. ... Joe K. Posted via the Android Central App
  • And twitter begins the slow painful march to its doom. I stopped using Facebook after this change, Twitter would become less useful. A few months ago there was a disturbance in town, I used twitter to keep me up to date on areas to avoid. Not with the new algorithm system. Today I used twitter while on vacation to follow the count down to a rocket launch, so I knew when to step out of my hotel to look for it.... again, not if twitter is smarter than I am. I am sure they will be willing to sell you promotional opportunities to get your tweets on the top of someone's feed.
  • I'm going to be old here, but don't care. Disturbance in town, don't go where all the cops are. Rocket launch, check time on website, go outside at that time. Twitter is stupid, unless maybe your trying to organize an overthrow of a government, then it seems to work ok. I also find it a bit bizarre that anyone cares what twitter does. It's a place that arbitrarily limits what you can say. I will never get the character limit, other than the hipster "make everything harder for no reason" aditude. Pants
  • The character limit is there because Twitter was initially developed as an easy way to update your status via text message.
  • Another person who doesn't know what the word 'hipster' means
  • I see it the other way around... If you can't get your point across in a sentence or two, then maybe you should post on Facebook lol.. Probably why I keep twitter... I like being able to get a quick rundown of everything, local & not.
  • I don't understand why these services and companies think they know what we want.. We WANT how it used to be, in order of newest first. geez how hard is that Posted via the Android Central App
  • I absolutely hate this idea. I want to see everything, starting with the newest Tweets first. Ugh. Facebook needs to do the same thing. I don't care about top stories. Just give me the latest posts without me having to add a couple of steps.
  • Awful Posted via Sony Xperia Z5
  • This is such a great idea! I was tired of seeing things as they happened, I much prefer seeing things on my twitter feed from days ago, that I missed before because other older news was prioritized by twitters algorithm!
    Such genius, much nonsense.
  • This might work well in Tweetville. Not so great on Facebook unless you like endless scrolling. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I guess with all the math they're busy doing they still haven't cracked the 'dark theme' algorithm yet.
  • How do I portray to twitter that the tweets I most want to see are the most recent tweets?
  • I don't get it - the "while you were away" feature should use this algorithm to help you save time when you've missed the last 4000 tweets on your holiday, but a chronological stream is necessary for Twitter to be - TWITTER. Live tweets, keeping up to current news or local events (great when you need to confirm a blackout in your area), etc...
  • The thing I hate most about Facebook is coming to Twitter? Goody.
  • All I get on facebook now is news and all other sites iv liked. I never see friends post anymore. Only see friends post when I go and set it to recent post. Anyone else notice this. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I would hate that change so much.......hopefully they make this an option. Even the "most recent" option on FB sucks and the timeline is based on whats hot and no so recent...i freaking hate that as I missed cool stuff my contacts have shared. The point of twitter is getting the most recent stuff in order a la breaking news style.
  • If tweets are no longer chronological does that now make them twats? Why would anyone think this is a good idea? I think Twitter is about to jump the shark here.
  • Haha I believe so Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is bad. Ever since Facebook went public they have been throttling any anti establishment activists posts that you can see. Something Google does to. Having an algorithm will give Twitter the ability to filter out content it's shareholders wants to restrict you from seeing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Pretty much this^^^^ Most wanted
    1. Edit feature
    _
    _
    _
    2000. New Twitter algorithm But twitter saw this 1. New Twitter algorithm
    _
    _
    _
    2000. Edit feature Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hate the way Facebook did it (which I have to change from Top Stories to Most Recent every time if I want to see the timeline), I rely so much on Twitter to read things in sequence according to time posted. Now Twitter please don't make me dislike you too. And don't force it on 3rd party Twitter app. :(
  • Did they wake up and say hey, how can we make Twitter better... I know lets screw the feed up like Facebook and G+! Then users can endlessly scroll to find something they want to see that's actually current. That's a brilliant idea, no one uses Twitter for up to minute live updates! Posted via the Android Central App from my Nexus 6.
  • True and somewhere an executive at Twitter is saying "and while they are endlessly scrolling, we can shove a bunch of ads in their face". In the end it's always about revenue. * “Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.” *
  • I see a vast majority of casual twitter users leaving due to this change.
  • They just can't leave well enough alone, all in the name of doing 'something' so they can placate investors.
  • I can only hope that all these changes that aren't really needed will drive Twitter users away in droves. Twitter is moving away from all the things that made it a successful social networking platform. IMO the change is all about revenue. Dropping the 140 character limit and changing the timeline. The only reason for that is to make way for ad driven revenue. The world doesn't need another Facebook. Twitter WAS a great alternative, but it looks that is changing. The same users who made Twitter famous will leave. Someone will develop another similar program and they will move to it. Twitter will become another MySpace. All that will be left will be a bunch of suits sitting at a table blaming the other guy for the failure. * “Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.” *
  • And the cycle will begin anew. It's the way it has to go since this is all driven by money. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Boo! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Others do this, and they suck, too: Netflix, Amazon Prime, and music streaming services.
    All of their 'recommendations' stink. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm almost laughing at the irony. They think they will know what we WANT to see, and yet they are blind to the fact that no one WANTS this change! Goodbye Twitter, I needed a good reason to finally delete account. Side note, I wish Instagram would do the reverse chronological feed.
  • I hate this idea. I'm one of the people who constantly have to kick Facebook out of the forced "Top Stories". I hope that there is a way to keep your personal timeline at reverse chronological. This HAS to be a money decision. I am all about them being able to make money, but if this happens and I can't have a workaround...no, I won't leave Twitter...like they care...but I WILL use it much less.
  • I hope this is optional, I'm ok with using Facebook under "News Feed" instead of "Most Recent" but I've been using twitter to keep up with technology information. I actually don't visit tech sites and other sites anymore directly. I can just follow the link on twitter. Twitter is basically my up to date news feed.
  • No, God! Please, no!
  • So Twitter is not doing well and their solution is to commit suicide by jumping the algorithm cliff...what a way to lose your stalling user base.
  • Stop trying to outsmart the brain, corporations.
  • They should have it be an option like most recent or only people you follow ect... Posted via the Android Central App on HTC One M9™