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Following is a post from one of these experts:
Twitter Confirms Timeline Changes
Twitter’s latest update is seen as another step in the direction of Facebook
Twitter seems to be taking another step in becoming more like Facebook, following its latest roll out. The world’s second largest social network has added a new definition to what its timeline is – to include tweets from accounts users don’t follow. This has already been around for a while in the form of promoted tweets – but the new content from users you don’t follow comes from favorited tweets. TechCrunch broke the news – and the writer, Natasha Lomas, didn’t mince her words about the newest updates.
What will change?
The updates are behind the scenes, or “algorithmically adultering the mix of content you see”, as Lomas put it. Basically, Twitter has updated its definition of a timeline. It’s not a major update to the description – in fact, there’s just one more bullet point added to it:
“Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.”
However, this means that tweets and accounts will be appearing in your timeline against your will – from accounts you don’t follow. Twitter users who were subject to the test run of the new roll out were up in arms over favorited tweets appearing in their timelines. The “favorite” function has so far acted in the same way as a “like” on Facebook. A retweet is when you want to share something with your followers by bouncing it on to their timelines. A favorite has never had this function – hence the uproar…
why am i seeing favorites on my timeline i didn’t sign up for this
— sara // 370 (@hoodsiecupcalum) August 21, 2014
Ew why did twitter put when someone favorites something on the main timeline? Not having it
— Danielle Walker (@dwalk0) August 21, 2014
Following in Facebook’s footsteps
It’s not the first time Twitter has come under scrutiny for being too like Facebook – it’s profile redesign earlier this year was accused of being too similar to Facebook’s. Again, the addition of favorited tweets to users’ timelines is much the same as when you “like” something on Facebook and it shows up in your friend’s newsfeed. The biggest issue with this is your Twitter feed will no longer be in chronological order – along with sponsored tweets, the favorited tweets will show up when Twitter decides it may be a tweet of interest to you.
To sum up, this latest update is a quiet one – you may not notice it immediately, but favorites will begin cropping up in your newsfeed soon. So far, it’s in the experimental stages and it isn’t clear how or when these changes will be implemented on a wider scale. Still, though, there’s an increasing blurring of the lines between Twitter and Facebook. Is this a good or bad thing?
Twitter, along with its counterparts, provides an excellent opportunity for digital marketers. Find out more by signing up for our Professional Diploma in Social Media Marketing today.