Twitter is testing out feature to force users to opt algorithmic timeline

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Twitter, a US-based microblogging platform, has introduced an update to make it harder to switch to the reverse-chronological feed and push users more prominently towards an algorithmically-served timeline.

The update includes distinct ‘Home’ and ‘Latest’ timelines, which will be initially available for iOS users and will soon be available for Android and Web versions of the microblogging network. While the Home timeline uses an algorithm to stack tweets, the Latest feed shows tweets from users’ timelines in reverse chronological order.

According to the company, the Home timeline will be pinned first by default, but you can quickly access the Latest timeline by swiping left on Home. The platform first started testing this feature in October last year.

Users on iOS have started seeing distinct Home and Latest Tweets tabs on their Twitter app once they tap the three-star icon from the top-right corner. With a swipe gesture, users can switch from the algorithmically-served Twitter feed to the reverse-chronological timeline. The update is, thus, meant to force people to use the algorithmic timeline over the standard reverse-ordered feed.

Twitter initially started rolling out its algorithmically-driven timeline in 2016. It deployed a deep learning system into place to serve tweets on the basis of their relevance over their chronology. However, there was some backlash to the decision initially.

Unlike Twitter, Instagram is also bringing a chronological feed option this year. Instagram’s update is, though, a result of the intense scrutiny and pressure built by the US Congress.

Earlier this year, Twitter said that is testing a new feature that lets users react to tweets using videos and images, with the original tweet embedded. The feature lets users tap the re-tweet icon and choose a new option, titled “Quote Tweet with reaction,” which allows the users to post video reactions to tweets alongside the tweet embedded.

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