If You Love Facebook You'll Love New Twitter. Of Course, If You Don't...
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Twitter is about to launch a brand new "improvement" that will make it just like Facebook: the algorithmic timeline.
One of the major differences between Twitter and Facebook is your Twitter feed is almost totally chronological – tweets are served to you in time order – whereas the Facebook gods decide what they think you want to see, so you see only those posts. Those posts being the ones that will benefit Facebook's bottom line the most.
Twitter, according to Buzzfeed's Alex Kantrowitz, "is planning to introduce an algorithmic timeline as soon as next week."
The new Twitter timeline "will reorder tweets based on what Twitter’s algorithm thinks people most want to see, a departure from the current feed’s reverse chronological order," Kantrowitz writes.
The real issue is, will the new Twitter, with the algorithmic timeline, be something you can opt-in to, or opt-out of?
Maybe, maybe not:
Sources at Twitter tell me algorithms are strictly opt in.— Josh Sternberg (@joshsternberg) February 6, 2016
Most likely, maybe at first, then at some point in the future the option will be removed and new Twitter will be the only Twitter.
Rumored and reported elsewhere is that Twitter may remove the 140 character limit, so, a tweet could be as long as, say, War and Peace.
Unsurprisingly, Buzzfeed notes, "Twitter declined to comment."
But some Twitter users – including some high-profile ones with large followings – are commenting, and are unhappy:
Goodbye, Twitter pic.twitter.com/RYVN691kHE— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) February 6, 2016
A big reason why people get upset when Twitter announces changes: we don’t feel that Twitter actually _cares_ about their users.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) February 6, 2016
Why is Twitter killing itself? Because it has no idea what it is and its execs aren’t regular users. https://t.co/TOQbp1lI2W— CJ Chilvers (@cjchilvers) February 6, 2016
Twitter's To-Do List:— Matt Mitovich (@MattMitovich) February 6, 2016
1) Algorithmic sorting that no one asked for
173) Edit button that every asks for
An imposed algorithm has the potential to reinforce content that is comfortable and commercial. Good for advertising not democracy— Stacey Higginbotham (@gigastacey) February 6, 2016
Can't wait to read everyone's tweets from seven hours ago— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) February 6, 2016
First likes, now the awful algorithm timeline. What's next- Facebook memories??— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) February 6, 2016
USERS: All your changes are horrible.— Dan Telfer (@dantelfer) February 6, 2016
TWITTER: Sorry, we can't hear you, invented an algorithm that's burying you in a fun Tweet grave!
"Twitter algorithm" = New Coke.— Arjun Basu (@arjunbasu) February 6, 2016
Ironically I wouldn't have learned about the plans for new lamer Twitter on new lamer Twitter.— Emily V Gordon (@thegynomite) February 6, 2016
New Twitter Gettysburg Address:— David Waldman (@KagroX) February 6, 2016
I don't really know when it happened, but our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation...
Twitter: New features everyone!— Alex Medina (@mrmedina) February 6, 2016
Users: What are you doing??!! Stop. No. Stop.
Twitter: That went well. We'll roll it out.
Can you imagine algorithm Twitter on election night? With hours-old information trumping new? Dated exit polls trumping new results?— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) February 6, 2016
At least thanks to Twitter's new algorithm the rape threats I get will be shown in order of importance, not time sent.— Valentiselin's Day (@kateiselin) February 6, 2016
Okay but with mass rejection of this new timeline, Twitter will listen to us and go back to normal, right? Because they listen? #EditFeature— Becky Metrick (@BeckyMetrickPO) February 6, 2016
Twitter would sell its own mother it could. https://t.co/XtICfBZdl0— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) February 6, 2016
Facebook has its place, so does Twitter. Personally, like many people, I use both, but for different things. Sadly, it seems that will change.