As a local digital agency, the team here at Thunderbolt Digital like to keep ahead in the digital world, and we’re always looking to keep up to date with the latest social media trends. Changes in social media and web design are always of special interest to us and we always make sure to keep our customers informed of any alterations that we know of, including changes to Twitter’s timeline and algorithms.
Despite CEO Jack Dorsey’s earlier denial of an algorithm change to their timeline, it appears that Twitter (a popular social media platform) have started to roll out their new timeline as an opt-out feature rather than opt-in, as it was previously during February. The new timeline is scrapping the old way of sorting tweets via chronology and instead displays tweets based on relevancy, which is supposed to show you the ‘best’ tweets that you’re more likely to care about, which the new algorithms attempt to pick based on your previous interactions with different accounts and tweets.
When the change was first discussed in February, it lead to a storm of tweets under the hashtag #RIPTwitter from users who saw the new change as an indication that Twitter was slowly becoming Facebook, much to their disgust. Following the backlash of last month, there doesn’t seem to be as much negative sentiment as there was then, but there has definitely been more grumbling than celebrating by those who have been affected by the opt-out algorithm switch.
Not only is Twitter adopting relevancy and interest based timelines along with Facebook, but it’s rumoured that (Facebook-owned) Instagram will soon start to operate the same way, and will start to display posts based on popularity instead of in its usual reverse chronological order.
This shift in algorithms is caused mostly due to the sheer number of accounts users follow on these social media platforms – it’s actually impossible for a number of users to see every post on each site or app, meaning that a large portion of content remains unseen by them, which is what the algorithm hopes to alter. Of course, users still won’t see all the content on their feeds, but hopefully we’ll all see more interesting and quality posts, rather than having to scroll past all the boring updates chronologically until we find something relevant.
What do you think of algorithm-based new feeds? Is it a pain or a blessing? Let us know by starting a conversation with us over on our Twitter or Facebook pages!