On Wednesday, Twitter confirmed reports of a new algorithmic timeline, but stressed that to enable it, users have to do so themselves in settings. In other words, the sky hasn’t fallen as many Twitter users would have had us all believe over the weekend.
If a user does enable the functionality, the tweets Twitter thinks they will care about most will appear at the top of the timeline (still recent and in reverse chronological order). The rest of the tweets will appear underneath like usual. Users can also pull-to-refresh at any time to see new tweets at the top like normal.
The updated timeline shows people the Tweets they're most likely to care about. Here's how it works:https://t.co/RpmKXo8jpl
— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) February 10, 2016
According to the company, people who had early access to this version of Twitter have tended to retweet and tweet more.
Twitter says the new timeline is an improvement for consumers as well as for businesses and brands. In a separate announcement, the company talked up the brand implications. In that, product marketing manager Eric Farkas writes:
Brands that create quality content have always performed well on Twitter. With this update, whether it comes from an SMB, large brand, consumer, or athlete you follow, the best content shines through. We’ve noticed in our early experiments that people who have this experience turned on Tweet and Retweet more on Twitter — and we believe this means that brands can reach a more engaged potential audience. Throughout our tests, we also saw an increase in engagement for brands’ organic Tweets and an increase in engagement for Tweets about live events.
Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts will work the same way as always, and are not affected by this change. Brands will still have access to the same suite of creative, measurement, and targeting tools to make sure theirs ads display to the right people, at just the right moment.
Farakas shares comments from several business executives who have found the new approach helpful. He also points to a set of best practices for Twitter content strategy and a help center article about the new Timeline experience.
Image via Wikimedia Commons