NDUBI: RIP Twitter? Relax, it’s just a false alarm!
A report from Buzzfeed that twitter is planning to introduce an algorithmic timeline very soon has sent ripples across twitter users all over the world.
According to the report, the algorithm will reorder tweets based on what it thinks most people want to read.
As such, it was speculated that tweets would no longer be arranged chronologically, with now ‘popular’ content being elevated.
This coupled up with the rumour that twitter was intending to review the 140 character limit, contemplating a possible increase made #RIPTwitter a top trending topic for the better part of Saturday.
There was a general feeling in the Twitter-sphere that the platform was implementing changes that make it feel more like Facebook, which they ‘fled’ for the very reasons.
If this algorithm was to be implemented, it means for instance that if Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Boniface Mwangi decide to have another twitter row they get a bigger audience by default.
After the ‘news’ broke on Saturday, the company got a major backlash from the twitter-sphere on various issues.
On apparently disregarding the ‘most urgent’ changes:
Twitter's To-Do List:
1) Algorithmic sorting that no one asked for
173) Edit button that every asks for
— Matt Mitovich (@MattMitovich) February 6, 2016
Us: Can we have an edit feature?
Twitter: Moments tab!
Us: Edit feature?
Us: EDIT. FEATURE.
Twitter: We're Facebook now.
— VenusFlyTrapQueen❦ (@BeeNasty_) February 6, 2016
— Internet Palace (@InternetPalace) February 6, 2016
— Sandra de Haan (@Sandra_de_Haan) February 7, 2016
So is this #RIPTwitter or False alarm?
You might have seen the “while you were away” feature if you have been away from twitter for a while especially when using the twitter app.
While this might not be an implementation of the said changes, it is an indicator that the company has been doing a good job of showing you interesting tweets when you wake up in the morning or after a busy day in the office.
If you make a search on twitter, on the ‘top tweets’ segment you get a list of the most popular tweets in the conversation, like say Eurobond. This doesn’t sound like a bad thing.
The suggestion that twitter could show you only the most popular content from people you follow, or what it thinks you’d find interesting based on what it knows about you, also doesn’t sound that bad.
Imagine the clutter you’d get rid of, especially from those hundreds of followers you got from a follow train whose identity you’ve got no idea?
Plus, for the typical #KOT (Kenyans on Twitter) resistance to change, reports indicate that heavy users (and definitely any user) are not ready to let go of the traditional timeline will still be able to access it by switching back manually every time they log in.
For the light users, the service would make sure they get a greater experience on twitter by getting more out of it, more quickly.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has, however, stressed that twitter is real time. Dorsey dispelled the rumour that the supposed changes were to be implemented this week.
“Hello Twitter! Regarding
#RIPTwitter: I want you all to know we’re always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week,” he wrote.
Moments later the CEO added: “Look at ‘while you were away’ at the top of your TL. Tweets you missed from people you follow. Pull to refresh to go back to real-time.
NOTE: The company is under obvious pressure to increase is number of users since despite doing pretty much well, it can barely compete with Facebook’s massive user base.
As such, such changes, though they could rattle ‘bigwigs’ and rookies in the process are inevitable. So your best bet is to sit back and relax; the storm is just starting!
Look at "while you were away" at the top of your TL. Tweets you missed from people you follow. Pull to refresh to go back to real-time.
— Jack (@jack) February 6, 2016