Twitter is reportedly very close to introducing a new feed that is algorithmic, and not in reverse chronological order.
BuzzFeed News reports that Twitter will introduce an algorithmic news feed — which decides on its own what to show you like the Facebook News Feed does — beginning in about a week’s time.
It’s not clear if this will be the new default, or if this is merely an option. We certainly hope that, at worst, reverse chronological order will still be an option for users.
According to a reporter at NBC News, the algorithmic feed will only be an option:
Sources at Twitter tell me algorithms are strictly opt in.
— Josh Sternberg (@joshsternberg) February 6, 2016
Even if it’s opt in for now, we imagine Twitter hopes to one day make it the default (at least for new users). Why introduce it otherwise?
Twitter has been considering dramatic changes over the past few months as they seek ways to grow. In September we told you they were considering dropping the 140 character limit that has defined them since the beginning.
The reverse chronological feed has also defined Twitter — it’s the reason we all use it. We can get up-to-the-minute news, have real-time chats with friends (and trolls), and see everything from the people we follow.
The algorithmic news feed is bad news for brands and publishers, who hope to get stories in front of followers as soon as they post them to Twitter. These same brands and publishers (Hypable included) have faced uphill battles over on Facebook, where it’s become increasingly difficult to get content in front of those who’ve hit ‘Like’ on their page. Unless, of course, brands pay money to put a post in people’s faces.
Will you welcome an algorithmic Twitter feed when it launches?
Note: We’ve updated our headline and lede to better reflect BuzzFeed and NBC’s reports.