What you need to know
- Twitter has rolled back a recent experiment that would display algorithmic suggestions in the timeline by default.
- The latest reversal comes after the platform's test was met with backlash.
- Twitter says it is suspending that update as it explores other options to let you gain control of your timeline experience.
Twitter's latest timeline experiment (opens in new tab) did not go down well with the vast majority of users who rely on the platform for breaking news updates. The platform has now shelved its tabbed experience.
The latest move comes just days after Twitter rolled out an update to its iOS app that separated chronological and algorithmic tweets into two tabs. It would have later been released to the best Android phones and the web, except that some users didn't seem to like it.
I thought Twitter gave up on force-feeding its Home timeline onto power users, but nope, it's now impossible to avoid in their official iOS app. Restarting the app always defaults you to Home tab instead of Latest now, with no possible opt-out. https://t.co/7f2553W80kMarch 10, 2022
Ugh the new tabbed version of Latest timeline doesn’t save my place at all between app launches 🙃This might actually be the thing that kills Twitter for meMarch 11, 2022
The negative reaction is understandable. While the tabbed timeline allowed users to pin the latest tweets tab to their home page, it always displayed Twitter's algorithm-based recommendations first when they opened the app.
This meant users didn't have a choice when it came to what type of content would show up the moment they launched the app. More importantly, it made it hard to see the latest tweets first by default.
In response to the pushback, Twitter announced today that it has removed the tabbed timeline view and reverted to the original experience.
"We heard you –– some of you always want to see latest Tweets first," Twitter said (opens in new tab) in a tweet. "We've switched the timeline back and removed the tabbed experience for now while we explore other options."
It's not clear what other options Twitter may be considering in lieu of a tabbed experience. On the other hand, the latest reversal is a strong indication that many people turn to the platform to keep tabs on current events as they happen, such as the situation in Ukraine.
In that case, the reverse-chronological timeline comes in handy, and changing that functionality now does not appear to be a wise move for Twitter.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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