Many Twitter users were upset when word circulated that the site would soon adopt an algorithm-based timeline, leading to a loud outcry on the platform through the #RIPTwitter hashtag. On Saturday, company CEO Jack Dorsey ran damage control.
"I want you all to know we're always listening," he Tweeted, claiming "we never planned to reorder timelines next week."
The cause of the commotion was a report from Buzzfeed stating that Twitter would soon prioritise the Tweets that appear on a user's timeline based on algorithms. Essentially, under the reported new system, you'd see Tweets that Twitter thinks you'd like, rather than in the current reverse-chronological order, similar to how posts on Facebook timelines are organized.
Though he didn't speak on when timelines would be reordered, if at all, he did say that Twitter would soon become "more Twitter-y", indicating that the service's foundational concepts and presentation wouldn't be drastically changed.
"Twitter can help make connections in real-time based on dynamic interests and topics, rather than a static social/friend graph. We get it," he tweeted.
The new system will work like an expanded version of Twitter's "while you were away function", according to The Verge. The publication reported that users scrolling down their timeline would be met with popular and engaging Tweets that were posted since they last logged on, and that refreshing the feed would revert it back to showing new Tweets first.
Jack seemed to confirm this with one of his own Tweets, which read: "Look at 'while you were away' at the top of your TL. Tweets you missed from people you follow. Pull to refresh to go back to real-time."
A new timeline would be the latest attempt from the San Francisco, California-based company to attract new users. The other major change that was proposed was a move to change the character limits of Tweets from 140 characters to 10,000 -- a suggestion that was also met with indignation by some users.