Twitter Rolls Out New Algorithmic Timeline After All

Hours ahead of its latest financial results release, Twitter has introduced a controversial -- though optional -- change to how new tweets are displayed on a user's timeline. Rather than viewing tweets in the long-time default format of reverse chronological order, users can now choose to switch to an algorithm-driven format designed to show more important updates first.

On Friday, just the fact that Twitter was considering such a move set off a steady stream of tweets under the hashtag #RIPTwitter from users opposed to the change. The volume of comments led CEO Jack Dorsey on Saturday to tweet that the company "never planned to reorder timelines" in the coming week.

That statement remains true: Twitter today continues to follow its original approach of posting tweets from the newest at the top to the oldest at the bottom. However, users can now ask to see the most important updates first.

Choice for 'Best Tweets First'

"Here's how it works," senior engineering manager Mike Jahr wrote today on the Twitter blog. "You flip on the feature in your settings: then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the tweets you're most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline -- still recent and in reverse chronological order."

The feature is available on the Web as well as on Twitter for iOS and Android. On the Web, the activation box will be found in the Content section of a user's settings, next to a box with the option, "Show me the best tweets first." Users can at any time turn off those settings and refresh their timelines to see all new tweets the old-fashioned way, Jahr added.

Twitter plans to turn on the new feature option in the coming weeks and users will be alerted with a...

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