Over the last two weeks, Twitter users have been engulfed in a state of panic with the news that Twitter may soon start using an algorithm which is similar to that used by Facebook.
As many people have now come to realise, Facebook’s algorithm is flawed. Yes it may show you stories that it thinks you like, but what about stories that you didn’t even know you wanted to read? Facebook picks and chooses what it thinks you may like and this has frustrated many of its users.
Twitter, in comparison, shows the user everything, from everyone that they follow and nothing is omitted from the timeline. You may have also noticed recently that Tweets from users that you don’t even follow have started showing up in your timeline – a sure sign that Twitter is already experimenting with ways to clean up the disorganised view that their users currently have to deal with.
So, where has this news of a new Twitter algorithm come from? Well, Anthony Noto, Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer, spoke at the recent Citi Global Technology Conference in New York, where he offered some clues for Twitter’s product roadmap. Speaking at the conference, Noto commented on Twitter’s reverse chronological order timeline and said that it “isn’t the most relevant experience for a user”.
Group chats for Twitter?
Noto said that by making tweaks to Twitters timeline, he hoped it would “separate the interesting and timely tweets from the noise”. Noto also added that a group chats feature could well be in the pipeline, no doubt following the current hype around messaging apps such as Viber and WhatsApp.
A more organised view on the Twitter timeline and a group chats feature – this should excite users, right? Most are not happy and have been quick to voice their thoughts.
Dear @twitter. Don’t introduce a news feed algorithm like Facebook. Yours sincerely. Everyone on Twitter.
— Copyright (@UKcopyright) September 4, 2014
Twitter’s interest in an algorithm isn’t about user experience, it’s about selling ads.
— Tim De Chant (@tdechant) September 4, 2014
There is already an algorithm that manages your Twitter feed. You.
— Dave Pell (@davepell) September 4, 2014
As one Twitter user above pointed out, this new algorithm may well be Twitter’s way of forcing brands to advertise. As we now know, when a brand posts to their page on Facebook, only 6% of the pages fans see the post – meaning most brands have had to resort to advertising.
If Twitter goes down the line of a similar algorithm then marketeers will have no choice but to pay for their real estate space on the Twitter timeline. For now, we can only wait and see if Twitter decides to adopt an algorithm similar to that of Facebook and if this results in an increase in the number of brands using Twitter advertising.
What do you think? Would you welcome changes in Twitter’s timeline? Tweet us and let us know! @TravelMedia_ie