Twitter has added an icon to its mobile app which enables users to switch back to its old system of showing the most recent tweets first.
The social media platform changed its timeline algorithm in 2016, introducing a feed that showed a mixture of the most recent tweets alongside those the site’s algorithms believed were of most interest to users based on their habits.
The change has become a longstanding issue among many users and, although some ways to turn off the algorithmic feed already exist, Twitter has now acknowledged a need to offer a more visible way of switching set-ups.
The company said a new “sparkle” icon would now begin to appear in the iOS version of the app, which when tapped will give users the option to change the layout of their feed.
So today, the ✨ is coming to everyone on iOS and will be available on Android & web in the next few weeks. No longer do you have to go into settings to switch between Home and the latest Tweets. It’s right there in your timeline. (And actually it’s no longer in settings at all.)— Keith Coleman 🌱😀🙌 (@kcoleman) December 18, 2018
Twitter’s vice president of product, Keith Coleman, said the change acknowledged that some users turned to Twitter to follow live events and are therefore keen to see the most recent posts first.
“It’s our job to help you see the tweets that matter most to you, and we want your timeline to keep you informed about relevant conversations happening on Twitter,” he said.
“The Home timeline seeks to do this, but we know it doesn’t always get it right. It’s sometimes helpful to see just the very latest tweets – like during live sports or if news is breaking. So, a few weeks ago, we began testing a new way to see just the latest.”
He said those who took part in a test of the feature reported enjoying Twitter more and said they would participate in conversations more when able to switch between the two.
“For those who just want to see the latest tweets, we hear you. We’ve designed this to make seeing latest tweets easy, and we will continue to iterate and learn based on how it’s working for you.
“We also know that people sometimes wonder how algorithms affect what they see in the apps they use. We’re hoping this change makes it clear. You can flip back and forth to see your timeline with and without the technology we use to rank tweets.”
Twitter confirmed the feature would be made available on the Android operating system in the “next few weeks”.
- Press Association