This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best possible experience. See our Cookies Policy.

PMG Digital Made for Humans

All You Need to Know about Twitter's Timeline Update

3 MINUTE READ | February 22, 2016

All You Need to Know about Twitter's Timeline Update

Twitter recently introduced a new algorithm-based timeline. This timeline puts tweets that users will most likely want to see first at the top of their feed, similar to how Facebook’s timeline works. For a platform known for its real-time updates, this change disappointed a lot of Twitter users as it seemed like they were steering away from what we all know and love about Twitter. But don’t worry, Twitter isn’t completely getting rid of their reverse chronological timeline.

How it Works

In the new update, the “While You Were Away” feature expands at the top of your timeline automatically, showing the most recent ones first, and the rest of your tweets will be in reverse chronological order underneath. If you refresh your feed, you’re still able to view your newest tweets in real-time. Twitter describes it as “adding relevancy to the recency algorithm.”

Pros and Cons

For those who like the “While you Were Away Feature”, it creates a better user experience when the tweets that are more relevant to you appear at the top of the timeline.

However, it could be a jumbled experience if trying to see tweets in real-time for sporting events, television shows, and other real-time moments. Luckily, Twitter has an option in settings to turn off this feature. Hopefully this option sticks around, or Twitter could lose a lot of its loyal users. Users may not feel the need to tweet in real-time about news, live events, television shows, etc. anymore if people are less likely to see it as the moment is happening, which is unfortunate considering this goes against Twitter’s mission statement of sharing information instantly without barriers.

What does this mean for ads?

Surprisingly, nothing. This change will impact organic reach of brands more than anything, similar to what happened to Facebook. Organic tweets are less likely to be seen if they don’t appear in the relevant tweets at the top. But according to Twitter, a brand analysis showed that the change increases brand engagement by about 5% while organic reach remained unchanged. It will be interesting to see if this continues.

Insights meet inbox

Sign up for weekly articles & resources.

It’s no surprise that Twitter is trying to make changes given their drop in market price lately, but not staying loyal to the purpose of the platform will only cause active users to drop off. My fingers are crossed that the option of still viewing tweets in reverse chronological order sticks around, so that Twitter continues to be the real-time, moments-based platform it’s always been.


Posted by Emily Nelson

Related Content

thumbnail image

Get Insights

PMG Portfolio Trends: Brands Move to Diversify Social Investments

7 MINUTES READ | November 16, 2021

Get Informed

PMG and Beats by Dre Win Award for TikTok Campaign

2 MINUTES READ | October 29, 2021

Get Informed

Third Quarter Big Tech Earnings Shed Light on Privacy Impact

5 MINUTES READ | October 28, 2021

Get Informed

How Social Apps Are Evolving

6 MINUTES READ | September 9, 2021

Get Informed

Snap Bets Big on Commerce and Community

4 MINUTES READ | May 26, 2021

Get Informed

Introducing the Social Audio Wars

6 MINUTES READ | April 27, 2021

thumbnail image

Get Informed

The Year of Streaming, and the Decline of Communal Experiences

7 MINUTES READ | March 17, 2021

Get Informed

Preparing for iOS 14 & the AppTrackingTransparency Framework

5 MINUTES READ | January 29, 2021

BACK TO ALL POST