Twitter plans to change its Timeline algorithm and we are not “jazzed”

twitter timeline

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Whereas few Africans use Twitter compared to Facebook, it’s on surprise that the whole Twittersphere went into an uproar on Friday after a BuzzFeed report came out saying that the social network was planing to change to a new algorithm that is more like the Facebook-style feed timeline. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tried to calm fears yesterday in a series of tweets, but the most worrying bit is that he did not deny the gist of the report. This news has seen threats from High-profile users saying that they will abandon the service, and the changes reportedly could arrive as soon as this week. Below is a snapshot of the redesigned timeline and few people are “jazzed” (read as not happy) with it, but for those who want to know the details about of how it’s going to work can read on.

new twitter timeline

The new Twitter timeline with tweets out of order

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So, how will your new Twitter timeline look and work? With the caveat that some things could change in the final shipping version: a lot like the old timeline. Here are a couple of screenshots above from a tipster who has reportedly been in the test group for several months:

This one is for those with a keen eye-sight as you will notice that the tweets are out of order: in this case, a few tweets from nine or ten hours ago show up before one that was posted two hours ago. But screenshots like these have been floating around for a few months now. What’s really important is how the new timeline works in practice.

Yes, this will all be optional

Expect this new algorithm to re-order your timeline based on the one that ranks tweets for the “while you were away” feature that Twitter introduced a year ago. This is how  best you can think of the new timeline, it is as an expanded version of this feature. Spend an entire day away from Twitter, and when you open the app again, you’ll see highlights from the day. If you open it up a few times a day, you’ll see a handful of “while you were away”-style sections breaking up the chronological tweets. And whenever you pull down to refresh your stream, it’s back to the regular, reverse-chronological timeline.

Here’s one way to think of it: scroll down through the timeline, it will basically show the most popular things first. Scroll back up, and the feed turns into regular reverse-chronology Twitter. The new timeline will also reportedly show you related posts for popular tweets if you want to dive deeper. In any case, this will be the new Twitter by default — but you will be allowed to opt out of the new timeline.

So for the die hard Twitter uses out there, will you opt out of the new Facebook-styled timeline? You can leave use a comment or vote in our mini poll below.


 Image Credit: The Guardian