Twitter Accused of Becoming Like Facebook, Losing Its Identity After New Kind of Timeline Is Revealed

Bloomberg/Getty Images
Bloomberg/Getty Images

It was a rumor that had many Twitter old-timers up in arms: Twitter is changing its signature structure of real-time posts in reverse chronological order.

It’s true. The company now says it’s got a new algorithm to predict which tweets you might not want to miss. Those selected tweets, minutes or hours old, will display at the top when you log in after an absence. The rest of the tweets below will remain in real-time and reverse chronology.

Twitter hopes this will help people feel less overwhelmed by the endless stream of posts and keep them coming back. It says people in testing were more likely to retweet and post tweets, “creating more live commentary and conversations.”

But the big question is whether it will be enough to attract new subscribers and advertising money, while also not alienating its legacy users.

Much like other companies that have gone through changes, Twitter is being accused of losing its unique identity. In this case, that means comparisons to Facebook, particularly coming after Twitter swapped its stars and “Favorites” feature for a Facebook-style “Like” feature with a heart image. When BuzzFeed reported the potential timeline revamp last week, critics rallied under the hashtag #RIPTwitter.

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SOURCE: NPR The Two-Way – Alina Selyukh