People love spending most of their time on the internet scrolling through social media platforms. Reading what is happening around them through a bottomless stream of posts somehow keeps them entertained. They either learn about what is trending or what just happened to someone a minute ago. In a way, one can say that through Tweets, people are able to watch the world. As a bonus, they don’t even have to leave their homes to do so.
Now here is the thing. People have different preferences on what they watch. Some prefer seeing only the shows they have a strong interest in. Then, the others are more compelled to watch anything, as long as they are new.
The same goes for Twitter users. Some are only interested in seeing the Tweets from people and topics that they are interested in. On the other hand, more prefer to watch Twitter in “real-time.” Luckily, Twitter has two settings that arrange the Tweets users see according to their tastes. They are the “Top” and the “Latest” configurations.
Top Tweets (Algorithmic View)
As its name implements, the algorithmic view uses algorithms to determine which Tweets are more likely to excite a particular user. It chooses them based on accounts the user interacts with frequently, Tweets they engage with, and much more.
Here is a more specific rundown on how the algorithm selects those tweets for the users.
The Tweet Itself
This setting still considers the recency of the tweets, prioritizing the latest ones. But, those tweets are further arranged based on different factors. For instance, a tweet with a media card – a photo or video – may be placed above a more recent tweet composed only of text.
Another factor that could affect the ranking is their overall engagement. How many retweets, clicks, and favorites did the Tweet get? Users have spent how much time reading it? The tweets that achieve a higher score will naturally rank higher on the priority list.
The Tweet’s Author
Who posted the tweet also plays a critical role in the process of selection. The user’s past interactions with this author and the strength of their connection are factors that are considered. The origin of their relationship is also used to weigh which among the thousands of tweets are most relevant for the user.
The User is the Twitter Follower
Of course, the users themselves are factored in when the algorithm chooses the tweets. Particularly, it looks at the tweets that the user found engaging in the past. Tweets that are of similar nature are put to the top.
In addition to that, how often and how heavily the user gets more real or cheap Twitter followers affects the rankings.
Initially, the tweets on Twitter’s feed are arranged in reverse chronological order. However, when Facebook took the reins as the leading social media platform, the future of Twitter was put into question. As a result, Twitter decided to reinvent itself. In its effort to increase usage, it began ranking the timeline.
On paper, this looked like a fantastic idea. By prioritizing the tweets that the user finds amusing, Twitter can keep them engaged and entertained. However, it turned out that this is not the case. Users liked the old configuration where the latest tweets appear at the top of the timeline.
Latest Tweets (Reverse Chronological View)
By its very nature, Twitter is a real-time network. The network allows users to post the thoughts and ideas that came into their minds. Other users quickly receive these, and as a result, it immediately leads to a discussion.
A description of a tweet would be, “what is happening right here and right now.”
It is because of this characteristic that users find tweets engaging. Twitter takes advantage of people’s natural curiosity over the latest news. The tweets tell the users the most recent happenings, and it lets them catch up. It also allows them to quickly get their hands on valuable information.
Compared to the algorithmic view, which can sometimes be repetitive, this view is unpredictable. Users will never know what will come up next. With this setting, opening twitter feels like opening a box of chocolates. That makes the experience exciting and entertaining. Needless to say, the users were annoyed when Twitter decided to make it no longer the default view.
The Disappearance Of The Button For Switching Views
Twitter users celebrated the coming of the switch. The button reinstates the simple yet exciting nature of Twitter. It allows them to change from algorithmic view to reversed chronological view. While the reversed chronological view was not removed from Twitter, users could only temporarily switch to that view. With this button, they can set the setting as the default.
The switch button is well-loved by the community on Twitter. That is why they are horrified when it suddenly disappeared on Tuesday, June 29. The issue was experienced only by users who view the social media network in a web browser.
The button’s disappearance had the users worried. They speculated that maybe, Twitter is forcing them to use the algorithmic view. Perhaps, the option will permanently be gone.
The outdated text on the page explaining Twitter’s algorithm also added to the fire. A bullet on the page said that switching between the two settings is only available on IOS and Android.
Fortunately, that was not the case. The bullet has been there for years already. Twitter had likely overlooked it when updating the page after the toggle’s introduction. On the information that followed that line, Twitter discussed how to switch from algorithmic to reversed chronological view. That reinforces the idea that they missed the line during editing.
Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour addressed the toggle’s disappearance. He said that a bug caused it. Twitter performed the necessary action once they were informed of the issue. After a few moments, Twitter Support tweeted that they have fixed the problem.
“The option to switch your Home timeline view to latest Tweets first was removed for some of you on [the] web,” it said. “We’ve fixed this, and the option should now be available again for everyone.”