Internet users who hate big changes to their social networks of choice, it’s best you sit down for this. A new report has surfaced indicating that Twitter may be ditching its long-established reverse chronological timeline in favor of one that’s organized by an algorithm, à la Facebook. Even more surprising is that the overhauled timeline may make its debut as early as next week.
Ever since Twitter launched, its users’ timelines have always been organized with the most recent tweets from those they follow appearing at the top. According to BuzzFeed, the company’s new algorithmic timeline would focus on showing users tweets determined to be most relevant or most popular, possibly even out of order.
Twitter has yet to officially comment on the report, but the news of a non-chronological timeline is already spreading across the social network, with most users vehemently against it. A quick scan of the opinions shows many saying that’s not how they want the service to work for them, and that they’d quit Twitter if the timeline change was forced on them.
But wait! Before the crowds pull out their torches and pitchforks, there might be good news in this!
Separate from BuzzFeed‘s report, Josh Sternberg, NBC News’ director of branded content, has said that his sources indicate the algorithm-based timeline will be an opt-in feature, as opposed to becoming the default, or worse, the only option.
We’ll have to wait and see what Twitter eventually decides to do. But what would be the point of changing the timeline structure anyway? Well, it would likely be a way for the company to try to improve the service and make it easier for new users, something they’ve been struggling with for some time now, along with a lack of growth.
Other recent changes under new CEO Jack Dorsey include the launch of the Twitter Moments feature, allowing direct messages to not be limited to the site’s iconic 140 characters, and possibly even removing that limit from tweets altogether, increasing it to 10,000 characters. Hopefully going forward the site won’t alienate its most loyal, longtime users any further.