Twitter tinkers with timeline – and users aren’t happy

December 15th, 2015 / Leigh Campbell

Twitter’s timeline may not be faultless – but it sure ain’t bad. That why we, and Tweeters everywhere, are stumped as to why they have decided to test out a new, non-chronological timeline with some users. 

twitter timeline-update-change-social-media-news

From where we’re sitting, a non-chronological timeline just doesn’t make sense. What if we post a rant spanning several tweets, and they appear out of order? Our frustration would be completely lost on our followers!

More importantly, a non-chronological timeline will be nothing short of annoying. A big part of Twitter’s appeal is scrolling through and catching up on the events of the day, or reading about events as and when they happen. Having something from yesterday afternoon, something from this morning, and something from 2 minutes ago appear one next to the other will disrupt the cohesive structure that Twitter has managed to nail.

What we’ve yet to hear is why Twitter have decided to trial this (absolutely redundant) feature. The ‘What You’ve Missed’ feature was implemented very recently, and that covers any desire from users to immediately view the top tweets that occurred while they were away from the platform. Seeing as users are asked ‘Did you like this?’ each time they use it, it could be that Twitter has been using this feature to gauge users’ reaction to non-chronological posts.

We also have no ideas as to how Twitter is categorising these shifts in order. If a tweet surfaces from the previous day, is that based on the tweet’s popularity? Engagement rates? Your previous interactions with the user?

Businesses will also have to consider what this means for them, and their advertising campaigns on the platform. Will paid adverts automatically get preference and reappear more frequently in users’ streams? Will business be required to put pay behind their tweets in order to have a chance to be seen on timelines?

At the moment, nothing has been confirmed by Twitter despite the move having been featured online on sites including TIME. Whether the feature will begin the process of rolling out to all users within the next few weeks is unsure, but we’re hopeful that Twitter is listening to the feedback of its users.

From us at Together, we’re all for keeping the timeline just as it is! What do you think?

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