Twitter had gone on an uproar on Friday after BuzzFeed had reported that the timeline is undergoing through a major algorithmic overhaul and will be changed to a more Facebook-like overlay. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, had attempted to calm the issue via his Twitter handle, though he did not deny any of the claims outrightly.
Things got so escalated, that high-profile users have threatened to abandon the service. You can expect to see the changes later this week. We got a look at what the timeline looks like, so, for those of you are wondering about how it all looks, read on.
Starting with the look of the timeline. At this moment, design wise not much has changed, though do note that the final product may differ.
The tweets are now out of order; in this case, a few tweets from nine or ten hours ago show up before the one that was posted two hours ago. However, you might be wondering that such screenshots have been circulating on the net for quite some time now and that would be true. So here is a brief overview of the experience.
First, let us look at the algorithm. It will re-order your timeline based on the algorithm that ranks tweets for the “while you were away” feature, that Twitter introduced a year ago, so, if you are familiar with that, think of the new update as an extension of the gimmick.
Do keep in mind that whenever you pull down to refresh your stream, it goes back to the regular, reverse-chronological timeline.
If you want to visualize the experience, think of this like Reddit homepage, showing the most popular posts first. Scroll back up, and the feed turns into regular reverse-chronology Twitter.
This move is definitely one towards a new layout. As Bret Taylor, a former chief technical officer of Facebook put it this morning: “Algorithmic feed was always the thing people said they didn’t want but demonstrated they did via every conceivable metric. It’s just better.”
At present, we feel nothing about this change. Is it truly the best of Twitter, delivered effortlessly? Or does it break up conversations and take other tweets out of context? We shall find out later on with the release of the final product, which will take place in a few weeks.