As a new Twitter timeline option is unveiled, we take a look and find out what all the fuss is about.
For those of you who use social media regularly, we can guarantee that one of the things that frustrates/irritates/makes you want to chuck your phone away and go back to carrier pigeon – is when the providers mess about introduce new and enhanced features. Facebook is notorious for this, so imagine the outrage when Twitter announced they were changing the ‘timeline’.
An algorithmic Twitter timeline?
The Twitter timeline is one of the most baffling and brilliant things about Twitter. A constant stream of information, comment and (depending on who you are following) silly pictures, as they are ‘tweeted’ by the accounts you have chosen to follow. No ‘algorithm’ to hide posts if you haven’t interacted with a particular account; just posts – as they are posted. If you’re new to Twitter it can seem totally impenetrable – but take some time (and a few deep breaths) and you may well come to view it as your favourite social media platform. It’s concise (140 characters per tweet) direct, and ‘real time’.
About 2 weeks ago, reports started circulating that Twitter was planning to introduce a new feature to the timeline which would change all that. An algorithmic timeline – essentially changing the order that Tweets would be posted to a timeline. The Twitterati were up in arms at the suggestion that their user experience was about to be changed – and not for the better. So much so that Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter had to get involved to quash #RIPTwitter, reassuring users that the real time experience of Twitter was very much alive and well and not about to be changed.
Is anything changing?
After all the to-ing and fro-ing, is anything actually changing? Well, regular users of Twitter may have been aware of the ‘While You Were Away’ feature which brought up tweets that Twitter thought you might have missed during periods that you haven’t been glued to your phone. There is now a ‘timeline’ option in your settings on Twitter which you can opt to turn on to receive “The Tweets you’re most likely to care about” . You can find out more instructions how to do this in Twitter’s online help.
Plus ca change
What this all amounts to is an option. There is no suggestion that this feature will become a permanent feature of Twitter. So if you are happy to dip in and out when you have the time and don’t really mind about what you might have missed out on, there’s no need to activate this feature. If on the other hand you do want to see what you have missed while you have been away, the new option could be pretty helpful, curating Tweets from accounts that you tend to interact with to show you what’s been going on while you’ve been away from Twitter. Perfect for sufferers of ‘FOMO’ (Fear of Missing Out’).
So don’t panic, there’s nothing to fear – Twitter is not going the way of other social media platforms we might mention, at least not at the moment. It’s still a great platform for business to connect with customers and suppliers directly too, to engage and interact. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of Twitter as a social media platform, why not ask us to give you the low down?
Here’s a video explanation of what is changing if that is more your thing: