Have you heard the news?
Twitter has just made it even easier for users to switch between the algorithm-defined main feed and a chronological feed of just users that you follow in the app. This is all thanks to the new swipeable timeline option that was rolled out on iOS today.
The idea behind this new feature is to give users more control over the tweets they see in their feed. By swiping between tabs, you can now choose to see tweets recommended “For You” or tweets from the accounts you’re “Following.”
This is similar to what TikTok does, by showing you a constant stream of things that you might like, as opposed to making you follow any specific profiles necessarily.
But wait, this isn’t the first time Twitter has introduced this feature. In fact, it was already launched in March last year, with an option to pin a swipeable feed of ‘Latest tweets’ after you tapped on the star icon in the top right of the app.
This time around, Twitter has just renamed the feeds for ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ instead of ‘Home’ and ‘Latest Tweets’.
The Home and Latest timelines are now just a swipe away for everyone on iOS, and soon on Android and web.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) March 10, 2022
H2: Why Now?
Now, you might be wondering why Twitter is doing this. Well, it’s all part of their effort to get people to explore more of what the app has to offer and keep them engaged for longer sessions. By showing you more recommended updates, Twitter hopes that you’ll find more content that you like and stick around for longer.
But, here’s the thing. Twitter’s algorithm is not always spot on. Sometimes, you might get vague and tangentially related tweets based on what people you follow have liked or followed, which is not a particularly engaging experience. And that’s where the new swipeable timeline option comes in handy.
If you’re not feeling the algorithm-defined timeline, you can just swipe across to get rid of it.
Plus, by making it available by default, more people might use the option, as opposed to having to tap the stars icon and pin the timeline in the previous iteration.
However, from Twitter’s perspective, it’s worth considering that as they work to improve their algorithm and lean into the expanded discovery, if people get used to swiping across, it could render those efforts less effective, as people won’t even spend time in the algorithm-defined timeline.
Additionally, users might push Twitter to make the ‘Following’ feed the default, which is why Twitter rolled it back last time, because people were annoyed that they couldn’t set the non-algo feed as their main choice.
All in all, the new swipeable timeline option is a great addition to the Twitter app, giving users more control over the tweets they see in their feed. It’s now available on iOS, and we’re yet to hear about its availability on Android. So, go ahead and give it a try and let us know what you think!