Wednesday, March 29, 2023
HomeTechnologyTwitter timeline change is yet another mess under Elon Musk

Twitter timeline change is yet another mess under Elon Musk


- Advertisement -

Changes in the way Twitter content is displayed have confused users as to which posts are displayed on the platform’s home page. The change adds to a series of controversial changes adopted by the social network since its acquisition by Elon Musk in October.

In January, a platform update split the timeline into two tabs: “For You” and “Following”. The change affects Twitter’s main page, the first seen when entering the site and which traditionally displayed content published by accounts followed by users.

- Advertisement -

Now, the “For You” page, displayed by default, shows both tweets from accounts and topics followed by the user and those recommended by the platform’s algorithm based on what it infers about their interests. In addition, it does not display the contents chronologically.

The “Following” tab only displays tweets from followed accounts, and in chronological order.

- Advertisement -

In the old version, it was already possible to select between receiving the most recent content first or being curated by the Twitter algorithm. The selection was limited, however, to those accounts that the user chose to follow.

“We make recommendations to make it easier and faster to find content that contributes meaningfully to the conversation, such as relevant, credible, and safe content. This means you may see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We recommend Tweets to you based on people and on topics you already follow, and we don’t recommend content that could be considered abusive or spam”, says the company on its official blog.

The feature was first rolled out to iPhone users on January 10th. Three days later, the computer version arrived. On Android, the cell phone system most used by Brazilians, the update came on the 20th.

The confusion arose because, when the novelty appeared, on the 10th, whenever the user opened Twitter, the first page displayed was that of recommended tweets.

The adjustment was only made two weeks later. Now, when closing the Twitter website or app, the user will return to the timeline they last opened – which doesn’t always work.

Even weeks after the initial launch, users continue to complain on the social network itself for realizing that, suddenly, they are seeing a curation of posts crammed down their throats.

Since taking charge of the company in October, Elon Musk’s management has been considered erratic. Another example of this is the tweet view counter.

Since December, alongside the number of comments, retweets and likes, Twitter has displayed the number of people who saw the post. The unpopular change came out of nowhere and divided opinion. The solution found was not to allow the user to activate or deactivate the counter, but to shift it from left to right.

Another fiasco under Musk was the implementation of Twitter Blue, a paid subscription that offers a blue “verified” badge, formerly a way to authenticate real accounts from celebrities and the media.

The launch in early November led to a wave of fake accounts, which could pay $8 for the stamp and impersonate officials. Hours later, the platform tried to create a second emblem, exclusive to the authentic accounts of influential people and entities (a kind of “verification of verification”). Subsequently, Musk himself suspended Twitter Blue, about a day after it went live. The program returned in December.

The instability weighed on the pocket. More than 500 advertisers paused on the network between the Musk takeover and January, according to technology website The Information.

Last Thursday (2), the company announced changes to its API – a technical resource that makes it possible to extract data from the platform and communicate with other systems, such as those that allow you to log in to websites using your Twitter account or create robots to publish on the platform.

The social network said that the resource will now be paid for, but did not give details about the changes, which will go live this Thursday (9) and may impact researchers and other companies.


With the insistence on the “For You” tab, Twitter now joins other platforms that aim to engage the user by automatically offering content based on their interests.

The changes follow the success of TikTok, whose powerful algorithm can even serve as a search engine. In the video app, the tab has exactly the same name, “For You”, and the recommendation system is largely responsible for the popularity that the service has gained worldwide – and also for addicting people to the service.

In this vein, the founders of Instagram launched a new social network last Tuesday (31). Artifact, which is not yet available globally, consists of a news feed and texts curated by artificial intelligence.

On these platforms, the algorithm is “trained” until it knows the user enough to suggest only content that they like. The result of this is more screen time and, of course, more revenue for the owners of these applications.

Another negative effect is the creation of so-called “bubbles” of similar content: as the algorithm learns what users like and interact with, it can start displaying content that only echoes the person’s opinion.

Sought by the report, Twitter did not explain how the information displayed in the “For You” tab is chosen, its impact on users or if it took measures to avoid the effect of bubbles. In January, following a wave of cost cutting, the company no longer had a press office in Brazil to communicate with the local media.

- Advertisement -

Related articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Latest posts