Twitter tests home-screen button to switch tweet order

Some iOS users can instantly switch from tweets deemed important by an algorithm to a listing that shows the newest tweets first.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Twitter has begun testing a feature that lets users switch the order of the tweets they see.

The social network said Wednesday that a small number of iOS users will soon see a button on the home screen that allows them to instantly switch between a display of tweets chosen by an algorithm as the most important to one that shows tweets most recently sent by users they follow.

"Sometimes you want to see the latest Tweets, first," Twitter said in a tweet. "We're testing a way for you to make it easier to switch your timeline between the latest and top Tweets."

The test appears to be the first step in a promise Twitter made in September to give users the option of a timeline that'll display tweets in reverse chronological order based on when they were sent.  

At the time, Twitter updated its "Show the best tweets first" setting so that when it was set to Off, it would display, in reverse chronological order, only tweets from people you follow. But the process required digging around in the app's settings. The feature Twitter began testing Wednesday puts the option front and center, giving users a relatively effortless way to swap timelines.

Though this feature is available only for a small group of users as a test on iOS, a Twitter spokesman said the company plans to test it on Android as well in the future.

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