Time Out: Twitter Is Officially Mucking With Your Timeline


Your Twitter timeline is no longer reserved for people you follow. A recent addition to Twitter’s “What’s A Twitter Timeline?” page explains to users that people may start to see “popular” or “relevant” links appearing in their timeline, a space originally reserved for tweets and retweets from the people you’ve chosen to follow.

The change, first spotted by The Next Web, is expected—this month Twitter tested two new features that displayed tweets that weren’t explicitly shared in your timeline. Now it appears Twitter is officially rolling out this new timeline structure that includes suggested follows and favorites as retweets from accounts you don’t follow.

See also: Twitter’s Retweet Experiment Will Make You Rethink Your Favorites

Twitter explains how it will decide which tweets to show you in its revised Help Center page:

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

The move to share tweets from people you don’t follow and weren’t retweeted into your timeline is an effort to make the platform easier for new users to discover new people or brands to follow. 

While the timeline change may be a welcome gift to newbies, it’s an off-putting feature for hardcore Twitter users. Many people who are used to Twitter have already carefully pruned their follow lists to minimize the odds of seeing tweets from people and topics they aren’t interested in.

Lead image by marek.sotak

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