Twitter's diminishing fortune and user base may soon get a facelift, as the company is looking to infuse life into the microblogging site with the introduction of a new algorithmic timeline starting next week.
According to a report from BuzzFeed, the revamped version of the timeline will be pushed out in the coming week. Twitter has been testing the new scheme for a while now.
"Say hello to a brand new Twitter. The company is planning to introduce an algorithmic timeline as soon as next week, BuzzFeed News has learned," notes the publication.
The new feature changes the current reverse chronological order format. Algorithms are deployed to arrange the surfacing tweets based on relevance instead of timeliness.
Since Twitter started out, the social media site has featured tweets chronologically. The transition to the algorithmic timeline model — similar to pin a post on top format followed by Facebook — will enable the site to display the most relevant and popular tweets. This would be somewhat akin to what Facebook users see in their News Feeds.
Whether Twitter will compel users to deploy the algorithmic feed or offer it as an alternative is not clear at this juncture.
Josh Sternberg, NBC News' director of branded content, is of the opinion that the algorithm-based timeline feature will be optional rather than default.
Sources at Twitter tell me algorithms are strictly opt in.
— Josh Sternberg (@joshsternberg) February 6, 2016
As Twitter's user growth struggle continues, swapping to the timeline model could potentially simplify the user experience which can be confusing for new users. In November 2015, Twitter switched from "favorites" to "likes." If the algorithmic timeline feature is pushed out as rumored, then it would possibly be the boldest move the company has made under the leadership of CEO Jack Dorsey. Will the move find favor with current Twitter users? Judging by the initial reactions - no.
honestly, @twitter. if you take away my timeline, i will never, ever use your service again. — emily steers (@emilysteers) February 6, 2016