Twitter reorganises timeline promising brands: 'The best content shines through'

Twitter has announced the launch of "an improved timeline to help people see tweets that are important to them" - but it will initially be optional rather than universal, as had been reported by media and feared by some users.

Time for a change? Twitter lines up new feature (Credit: Esther Vargas via Flickr)
Time for a change? Twitter lines up new feature (Credit: Esther Vargas via Flickr)

A blog post published by Twitter at 2pm UK time (9am EST) on Wednesday, entitled 'Never miss important tweets from people you follow', says that the feature can be turned on within an individual user's settings menu. However, it will eventually be rolled out to all users regardless of preference.

It comes ahead of the firm announcing Q4 2015 figures later today – each quarter so far this year has seen net losses, totalling more than $420m (£292m).

After this, users will see "the tweets you're most likely to care about" at the top of their timeline, in reverse chronological order, the blog says. "The rest of the tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always," it continues.

Last week, the company's CEO Jack Dorsey had denied the firm would be changing all users' timeline, in response to media reports and concerns from some users.

The blog said the new feature would mean more tweeting and retweeting. This conclusion was based on tests since the end of last, when the feature was "rolled out to a very small percentage of accounts", a spokesman for the firm said.

A press release from the firm entitled 'An improved Twitter timeline for consumers and brands' said the firm had "improved the timeline by analyzing how millions of people engage with billions of tweets – and we’re using this information to determine the best content to surface".

"Brands that create quality content have always performed well on Twitter. With this update, whether it comes from an SMB, large brand, consumer, or athlete you follow, the best content shines through," it went on to say.

The press release also clarified that sponsored tweets and sponsored accounts "will work the same way as always", and included three comments from media and marcoms agencies.

George Manas, chief strategy officer of Resolution Media, said he was "incredibly excited by the opportunity this presents for all the brands we partner with".

Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of 360i, said: "We’re hoping this will also drive more users to Twitter more often, which will in turn be good news for marketers. It’s clear Twitter has listened to its consumers and its partners, and we’re excited to get deeper under the hood to evaluate implications for our clients."

Jason Stein, founder of the Laundry Service, said: "As a user and advertiser, I'm psyched."

Dorsey himself also commented, via Twitter.

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