Twitter spices timelines with unasked-for tweets

October 17, 2014

Twitter said Friday it would start reconfiguring users' timelines with "relevant" messages from people they haven't bothered to follow at the service.

Based on a positive response from its tests, the popular one-to-many messaging service is inching toward the Facebook model of using software to "curate" what users see based on their interests or activities, Twitter said in a blog post.

"In many cases, the best Tweets come from people you already know, or know of," the San Francisco-based company said.

"But, there are times when you might miss out on Tweets we think you'd enjoy."

Twitter said the plan, which has drawn resistance from some users, remained a "timeline experiment" and might not make it to 100 percent of users.

It said, however, that for now, users would not be able to opt out of the feature.

The company said testing showed that many people enjoy seeing tweets from accounts they don't follow, provided the messages are deemed worthwhile based on "signals" such as popularity, level of interaction, and how much interest is shown by account's one does follow.

A support page at Twitter on Friday explained that when it identifies a tweet, an account to follow, or other content that is popular or relevant, may be added to timelines.

"This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don't follow," the Twitter support page explained.

"We believe that each successful experiment, big or small, can make your Twitter experience simpler and more relevant to you."

The notion of curating Twitter timelines that have long been loved for the real-time blast of information provided is seen as anathema by some fans of the service.

A stream of messages fired off at Twitter urged the company to back away from what was lambasted as a terrible idea.

Facebook continually refines its algorithm for determining which posts should be given priority in timelines presented at the leading social network.

Explore further: Twitter customized timelines offer new perspective

Related Stories

Twitter expands ad program to mobile users

February 29, 2012

Twitter said Tuesday it was expanding its advertising program to mobile users, the latest bid by the short-messaging service to boost its money-making efforts.

Twitter tweets start to sing

October 17, 2014

Twitter began letting people instantly listen to music and other audio by clicking on tweets from the popular messaging service.

Recommended for you

Microbes help turn Greek yogurt waste into fuel

December 13, 2017

Consumers across the world enjoy Greek yogurt for its taste, texture, and protein-packed punch. Reaching that perfect formula, however, generates large volumes of food waste in the form of liquid whey. Now researchers in ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rp142
5 / 5 (1) Oct 18, 2014
Twitter spam... Nowhere is safe. Not being optional is the ridiculous part of this. Some people will want it, others will not and those that don't want it will make a lot of noise about it.
Huns
not rated yet Oct 23, 2014
The crappy ads weren't enough?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.