Twitter users have been noticing tweets in their home timelines that aren’t from accounts that they follow or retweet from. In an update to its Help Center Page, “What’s a Twitter Timeline?”, the microblogging site explained the reasoning behind this bold move:
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.
This means that if Twitter sees a tweet that it considers to be “popular or relevant” from other accounts, the tweet will most likely appear in other users’ timelines too—whether they like it or not.
This change is all part of Twitter’s plan to enhance user experience and improve user engagement by showing users more content than they originally wanted to see. Recent data has shown that Twitter has been struggling to increase engagement and signups. According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll, which was released last year, 36% of 1,067 people who have joined Twitter say they do not use it. This percentage is pretty considerable, and in contrast, only 7% of 2,449 Facebook users report not using the social network.
The most recent change to users’ home timelines has led some of Twitter’s most avid fans to conclude that Twitter is borrowing features from its primary competitor, Facebook. Recently, Twitter had a major profile redesign which many thought resembled Facebook’s timeline design. Twitter has been exerting more effort to boost user engagement by showing users tweets from people they don’t follow, just like Facebook has been showing status updates and photos/videos to users from people they’ve interacted with.
Because of the said change, Twitter has been facing backlash from some if its users. One person tweeted: “Hey @twitter! Can you please fix my timeline? I don’t need to see people’s favs [sic], that’s what retweets are for!”, and another saying: “Dear twitter: I don’t want to see tweets from the people the people I follow are following. You’re intruding my carefully curated timeline.”
What do you think of this new move by Twitter? Hit us up with a comment!
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