Twitter to display tweets from accounts you don't follow -- like it or not

The move is designed to add variety to your timeline and introduce you to new accounts, but some users have already given it the thumb's down.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read


Your Twitter timeline may start to get a bit more crowded -- with uninvited guests.

Under a new plan, the microblogging site may now show you tweets from accounts that you don't follow. That's a significant change from the usual scenario in which you see only tweets from accounts you follow as well as retweets and promoted tweets.

In an update to a Help Center Page called What's a Twitter timeline?, Twitter described the timeline tweak and explained the reasoning behind it:

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 has its pros and cons. You may find interesting accounts you didn't know existed. But depending on the volume of tweets from accounts you don't follow, you may find your timeline more crowded than you like. And your ability to personalize your timeline will face an added challenge since you could now bump into tweets you didn't ask for and don't like.

Some Twitter users have already chimed in with a negative reaction to the new initiative.

One user in the UK complained after Twitter displayed a tweet to him from his stepfather, who died last June, according to The Guardian. Other users have registered more general gripes about the change, with one person tweeting: "Hey @twitter! Can you please fix my timeline? I don't need to see people's favs, that's what retweets are for!" as reported by The Independent.

Here's another tweeted reaction: "Get used to tweets from people you don't follow: bah, Twitter. this is NOT where your value lies." And another: "Dear twitter: I don'twant to see tweets from the people the people I follow are following. You're intruding my carefully curated timeline."

The timeline tweak was relatively recent following some lengthy experimentation by Twitter.

(Via The Next Web)