How Twitter’s New Algorithm Will Affect You

For the past several weeks, the Internet has been up in arms about an update to Twitter that will change the way its timeline looks.

According to a report from BuzzFeed, Twitter was preparing to overhaul the way it typically shows news (reverse chronological order) in favor of an algorithm, much like the one Facebook uses in setting up personal timelines. This type of timeline would prioritize by displaying popular tweets first instead of showing every tweet from the people you follow. This plan was met with huge backlash from Twitter users everywhere. It didn’t take long at all for #RIPTwitter to become a trending topic on the social media site.

Shortly after this report surfaced, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addressed the claims.

“Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time,” he tweeted. “Twitter is here to stay! By becoming more Twitter-y.”

But in the ever-evolving world of social media, change always wins. The proposed Twitter algorithm now exists on updated versions of the app. However, it remains merely as an option rather than the standard for the moment. Some predict that the app will make personalized timelines the standard as early as next week, but you’ll still be able to op out of the setting. Check out these tips on how to use personalized timelines and why you should use it.

Activate it. To activate personalized timelines from your mobile device, click on the gear at the top of your profile screen and press “settings.” From there, choose the account you want to alter and open the “timeline personalization” tab and choose “show me the best tweets first.”

What it changes. According to Twitter’s description of the feature, the first tweets in your timeline will be of things that you are more likely to enjoy. Let’s say you follow an account that tweets out cute pictures of dogs. If one of those accounts tweeted out a picture an hour ago that received 100 likes or retweets, that would likely appear above something that was written 10 minutes ago and has 5 likes. However, the “while you were away” section of Twitter will appear further down the timeline, instead of towards the top.

-My experience. I activated the feature and kept it active for about half an hour. Maybe I’m not on the most recent update, but after leaving my phone to deal with the new feature for a while, nothing changed. Maybe I don’t like enough things, or maybe there’s a bug in the program. If reports are true, however, and this timeline feature does roll out next week as the new Twitter standard, then maybe I’ll see a change in my timeline.

Have you tried Twitter’s new timeline? If so, what did you think? If not, will you?

Categories: News, Social MediaTags: , , ,

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