Twitter tweaks the timeline in a bid to keep more users engaged

The new timeline will show recommended tweets at the top of users' feeds, with the traditional, reverse-chronological tweet order appearing just underneath.

Twitter on Wednesday confirmed that changes are underway to how users see tweets in their timeline.

The microblogging social network will give users the option to modify their timelines to place more emphasis on popular tweets that are likely to be more relevant.

The new timeline will show recommended tweets at the top of users' feeds, with the traditional, reverse-chronological tweet order appearing just underneath.

Frequent Twitter users will recognize this approach, as it's basically an expansion of Twitter's "while you were away" recap that shows up when they log into the site after being away for a spell.

"You follow hundreds of people on Twitter -- maybe thousands -- and when you open Twitter, you may feel like you've missed their most important tweets," Mike Jahr, senior engineering manager at Twitter, wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "Starting today, you can choose a new timeline feature that helps you catch up on the most important tweets from the people you follow."

Twitter's theory with the new timeline is that it will encourage users to become more engaged with the social network -- a goal that has been a proverbial thorn in Twitter's side for quite some time.

"We've already seen that people who use this new feature tend to Retweet and Tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone," Jahr added.

Rumors of an impending timeline change began to swirl last week, and in a twist of social media irony, Twitter was forced to face the heat after many users threatened -- via the #RIPTwitter hashtag -- to abandon the service.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Saturday took to Twitter to reassure users that there were no plans for a total timeline upheaval.

To avoid any potential panic, Twitter is rolling out the new update slowly. It is available on an opt-in basis on iOS, Android and the Web beginning today, but it won't be turned as a default order until the coming weeks.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.
See All
See All