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Official: Twitter Will Now Show You Tweets From People You Don’t Follow
Move will anger some core users, but company says its experiments showed that most like seeing added tweets based on other signals of quality.
Twitter’s move away from a strictly real-time feed became a bit more real late today.
The company announced that all users’ timelines will now include more than just tweets from people they follow. Twitter said the move comes after a successful test — a test that raised the hackles of many longtime users of the network — showing that most users liked seeing extra tweets in the mix.
Twitter product team member Trevor O’Brien explained in a blog post:
One of our goals for experimentation is to continue improving your home timeline. After all, that’s the best way to keep up with everything happening in your world. Choosing who to follow is a great first step – in many cases, the best Tweets come from people you already know, or know of. But there are times when you might miss out on Tweets we think you’d enjoy. To help you keep up with what’s happening, we’ve been testing ways to include these Tweets in your timeline — ones we think you’ll find interesting or entertaining.
For example, we recently ran experiments that showed different types of content in your timeline: recommended Tweets, accounts and topics. Testing indicated that most people enjoy seeing Tweets from accounts they may not follow, based on signals such as activity from accounts you do follow, the popularity of the Tweets, and how people in your network interact with them. These experiments now inform the timeline you see today.
Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.
The move will not be popular with purists who believe in the gospel of Twitter’s reverse-chronological origins, but Twitter is laser focused on the more casual users it — and Wall Street — believe are vital to the growth of its business. Twitter has long battled the perception that it’s not easy to learn, with its arcane jargon and shorthand terms, and this effort is part of a general strategy to make the service more accessible.
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