While most social networks had long switched to algorithmic feeds, Twitter kept displaying tweets in a simple reverse chronological order… until March 2016, when the new Twitter’s algorithmic timeline started rolling out.
Surprisingly, still very little is known about this algorithm.
- How the algorithm actually affects your timeline and which factors do impact what you see in your feed.
- The business stakes of this major update for the future of the company.
- The role of Twitter’s algorithmic timeline in the 2016 US Election and politics in general.
- What Twitter learns about their users thanks to this algorithm and related experiments.
While Twitter’s Algorithmic Timeline seems to remain Work In Progress with areas for improvement (what does not?), as Social Media Managers and long time fans of the platform, we could not agree more with the closing paragraph of the article:
[…] the main alternatives to Twitter as a news source—Fox News, CNN, Facebook, et al.—all have their own crises of credibility and perception, driven in part by the perverse incentives of their respective business and audience models. If Twitter is right that its users value at least some diversity of viewpoints in their feeds—and if it’s serious about being a place people come for information rather than just entertainment or endorphins—we’ll be better off with a more automated Twitter than we would be with no Twitter at all.