Kevin Weil, Twitter’s VP of product, hit the official blog of the company with a post that sparked much discussion in both the tech industry and the users. Twitter and, more precisely, its timeline are up for some big changes in the close future.
This 2014 has been a big year for Twitter. Earlier this year we saw the social media site being enriched with new features like native support for animated gifs, emojis and the option of uploading multiple pictures at the same time. All of these are welcome new additions. But nothing of those really changed the way the users enjoy the site. There are some updates on the way for Twitter and some of those could have a big impact on the site as we know it.
The most notable change that has been announced, is about the way the timeline shows the posts. Right now it’s the simplest system you could imagine. The timeline just shows the tweets of the accounts you follow in chronological order. It’s a simple system and it’s good at what it does. However, Twitter in more than one occasion said that it could use improvement.
Right now, what you see of the 500 million Tweets published every day is based entirely on who you follow, and that’s a great model for many people. But with that many Tweets every day, there’s no way even the most avid Twitter user will find everything that’s relevant to their interests in any particular moment.
That’s why we’re exploring ways to surface relevant Tweets so the content that is interesting to you is easy to discover – whether you stay on Twitter all day or visit for a few minutes – while still preserving the real-time nature of the platform that makes Twitter special.
Twitter’s way to organize and display tweets is going to change. There is going to be some filtering on the tweets you’re going to see on your timeline. Tweets more relevant about your interests (read browsing history) are more likely to show up while other tweets could be hidden. That could also mean tweets of people you don’t follow but the new Twitter system finds relevant to you. A bit like a certain other social network already does.
This announcement expectedly met mixed feelings. There’s people that think this new system will make easy for users to carve a niche in the cyberspace while, on the other side of the coin, there are people that are happy with the current timeline and don’t want it to change. What everyone wonders is if the new timeline model will be forced on the users or if Twitter will give you the option to stick with the current one.
There are also some updates to the DM system coming, even if arguably not as impacting. Next week Twitter will feature the possibility to share and discuss tweets via DM, making easier to bring public conversation in private.
What you think about this update? Are you curious about what Twitter can do with this new system or you’d rather stay with the current one?