by Dan Moren
Twitter launches algorithmic timeline as an opt-in feature
Remember that big fuss last week about how Twitter was going to change its timeline to be more Facebooky? It’s happened–but you’ll have to opt in:
Here’s how it works. You flip on the feature in your settings; then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you’re most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline — still recent and in reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always. At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new Tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love.
However, I’d guess that most Twitter users don’t go looking for settings to change, so unsurprisingly, Twitter says it will be enabling that feature for people in the coming weeks. The good news is you’ll still be able to disable it in the settings at that point. (For now, anyway.)
I’d also guess that third-party clients won’t be able to implement this for a while, if ever. So users of Tweetbot, Twitterrific, and others won’t really have a substantively different experience.
Me, I’m perfectly happy to keep my Twitter experience as it’s always been. Whenever I log into Facebook–which isn’t often–I find it annoying that there isn’t just a simple reverse chronological timeline of what my friends are up to. But I also understand that Twitter feels like it needs to keep moving and tweaking its service–perhaps there are other, better ways for it to do so. (Perhaps a window in which you can edit tweets?)