Twitter goes back in time to the (reverse) chronological feed

Twitter users are tired of seeing tweets from people they do not follow. Also, they do not want to see old tweets first. On September 18, Twitter made a commitment to provide its users with an easy way to switch between latest tweets first or best tweets first. Here is what you need to know.

Twitter goes back in time to the (reverse) chronological feed
Twitter logo

Twitter has announced that it will soon allow users switch between a timeline of latest and most relevant tweets.

As it is wont to do, Twitter announced via a thread - a series of tweets, on Tuesday, September 18.

The 12-year-old social media platform introduced its “best-tweets-first (BTF)” algorithm in 2016 which presents users with tweets they (Twitter) believe to be relevant to them (users) first.

"Here’s how it works...after being away for a while, the Tweets you’re most likely to care about will appear at the top of your reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath..."
- Twitter

But there was never a balance, as many ardent users complained about always seeing old tweets first. Plus the BTF algorithm often meant that users would see "recommended tweets" from people they follow.

For instance, if @dadaben_ follows @danieliyanda but not you when Daniel likes your tweet, there is a probability that Dada will see that tweet on his timeline. But that counters @dadaben's (a Twitter user) reason for not following you in the first place.

The deal is simple; if users want to see the tweets of another user , they will follow that account.

Social media platforms should stop being obsessed with controlling the feed of a user on their platform. Experts argue it’s their strategy to optimise for advertising dollars. So, by controlling what users see, they can strategically place Advertorial content. In other cases, it is them (the platform) choosing to dictate the direction of the conversation on their platform, which usually comes handy during elections.

While Twitter has made changes to its timeline only once, Facebook's user feed is continually changing.

Giving users an option to go back to the chronological feed, is a step in the right direction to ensure healthy public conversations, free from manipulation or interference by even the gatekeepers (the organisation).

While these changes might be good enough to keep people engaged with the platform, it remains to be seen how they help to boost growth.

"Infographic: Twitter Struggles to Attract New Users | Statista"

You can make changes to your feed by:

  • clicking on "Settings and privacy"
  • selecting "Content preferences"
  • deselecting the "Show me the best Tweets first"

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