Twitter Shows Favorites In Timeline When It Has Nothing Else To Show

Chris CrumSocial Media

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Last month, news came out that Twitter would start showing favorites and other activity in users' timelines. The concept didn't sit too well with some users.

Twitter updated its help documentation to say:

Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.

Twitter was vague about exactly what people would see and when. Kurt Wagner at Re/code posted an article that seemed to suggest that thing wouldn't get too invasive. Here's a snippet:

Sources familiar with the update say Twitter’s algorithm searches for popular tweets in your “social graph,” marked by actions like favorites and retweets. But it’s not showing you those tweets specifically because of one of your pal’s actions — it’s showing it to you because lots of your pals have shown interest in that tweet.

This means that every tweet you favorite won’t appear in someone else’s feed — it would require engagement from a number of other people, too.

The changes will apparently be even more subtle yet. Over the holiday weekend, CEO Dick Costolo tweeted (via The Verge) about the changes, indicating that the type of content in question would only appear after users pulled their timelines down to refresh two times, suggesting they were hungry for more content. This stuff would appear when Twitter doesn't have anything better to show.

Costolo's comments would seem to suggest that users who aren't following many accounts are most likely to see this other content because if you're following a lot of accounts, you're always going to have fresh tweets to consume.

Image via Twitter

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.