Social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are a good way to keep up with what’s going around in the world, but, there’s one thing that many hate about these platforms: algorithmic feed. This kind of feed shows you posts at the top in your timeline based on your interests, likes and interactions; instead of showing the recent posts from the accounts you follow. Twitter, too, has been doing this since a couple of years. And now, after receiving much flak from users, the social network has decided to bring back the chronological feed.
Twitter has announced that it has started working on providing users with an “accessible way to switch between a timeline” that’s algorithm based and a timeline that’s chronological. Well, reverse chronological to be precise.
What happens with the algorithm-based timeline right now is that we often see tweets first that are older instead of seeing the latest ones, because Twitter’s algorithm thinks we are more interested in those tweets – even if they are very old. This results in users missing out on the latest tweets that could contain something important – like some important announcement, or a breaking news.
This is not the case with chronological feed which shows the latest tweets first. In fact, until February 2016, Twitter did show all the posts to its users in reverse chronological order, but in February 2016, Twitter introduced algorithm-based feed so that you “never miss important Tweets from people you follow”.
That said, Twitter has confirmed that it will start testing the switch in the coming weeks that will allow users to switch between algorithm-based and chronological feed easily. But, until then, users can turn off the ‘Show the best Tweets first’ setting to get a chronological feed. Previously, when turned off, this setting still showed “In case you missed it” tweets and recommended tweets from people you didn’t follow. Twitter has said that it will replace this setting when the toggle mentioned above is finally rolled out.
“We’ve learned that when showing the best Tweets first, people find Twitter more relevant and useful. However, we’ve heard feedback from people who at times prefer to see the most recent Tweets. Our goal with the timeline is to balance showing you the most recent Tweets with the best Tweets you’re likely to care about, but we don’t always get this balance right. So, we’re working on providing you with an easily accessible way to switch between a timeline of Tweets that are most relevant for you and a timeline of the latest Tweets. You’ll see us test this in the coming weeks.” said Twitter.
With Twitter finally deciding to bring back the chronological feed, we hope others like Instagram will also follow suit. Or at least give users an option to switch between algorithm-based feed and chronological feed, like Twitter’s going to do.