According to Buzzfeed News, the days of scrolling Twitter in reverse chronological order may soon come to end, as the site rolls out a new algorithm that will order tweets according to popularity and relevance. After reportedly testing the new system on a select group of users for at least the last several years, the Twitter team has decided that the time has come to implement it in full. As of now, Twitter has not confirmed whether the service will be forced on users or if they’ll be given the option to choose.
CEO Jack Dorsey believes that the new system may help first-time users grow more quickly accustomed to its layout, as it would mirror the ordering of relevant posts that Facebook uses. If new users join Twitter having already become used to the idea of more relevant posts at the top of their feeds, he believes the transition will be smoother and more enjoyable.
In response to these new reports, however, a hashtag has surfaced that is currently trending on both Twitter and Facebook: #RIPTwitter. Many of the site’s most dedicated users feel that the new algorithm will bring doomsday to the way they receive their news and other posts, as their feed will now push some content out of their view in place of more popular tweets.
As we’ve seen with Facebook, content sorting algorithms can only do so well at guessing what you want to see, or what others are engaging with. The current system provides a sort of equality in the Twitter sphere, where even a massively popular tweet from Kanye can be pushed aside from your 5-year-old niece. With the new system, that equality could face major repercussions.
But according to NBC’s Director of Branded Content Josh Sternburg, as of last night, the new changes will be on an opt in basis.
Sources at Twitter tell me algorithms are strictly opt in.
— Josh Sternberg (@joshsternberg) February 6, 2016