Twitter has been experimenting with a new non-chronological tweet-ordering style, reminiscent of Facebook’s ‘Most Recent Posts’ style. The Social Network wants to appeal to more casual users – but could more changes result in it losing its originality?
A new algorithm has been implemented as a trial by the Social Network in an attempt to display more important tweets over those which it deems less important. Many users are tweeting the network in confusion and annoyance because of the change. At the beginning of November the network altered their popular ‘favourite’ feature to a ‘like’ feature. Now this ordering-style change appears like it could be yet another move towards making the network more like Facebook.
In this article in September last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Anthony Noto, Chief Financial Officer of the Network, had mentioned that Twitter were planning on making moves to make the service more relevant and user friendly. He said that “Putting that content in front of the person at that moment in time is a way to organise that content better.” However, users appear to disagree as the reaction has been fairly negative.
Twitter have made it clear that the feature is a experiment. Therefore it is unclear as to if and when the change will be permanently implemented across board.
Twitter is changing
For millions of its users the heart of Twitter is it’s real-time communication aspect. The feed, designed to supply users with an up-to-date stream of information, has always been an important part of that. While it is clear that Twitter’s moves are to help bring them in line with their competitors and expand their user-base to above the current 320 million, there is certainly a fear that they could be on their way to departing from the stripped-back, real-time-expression-of-a-moment style that really does define the Social Network.
Could more changes make it unclear what makes Twitter different? Possibly. And could more changes turn current die-hard users away? Almost certainly. While we understand that they have to appeal to new users, we don’t believe this lies in compromising what the network has always been about.
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