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Twitter changes iOS’s default timeline to an algorithmic one

Twitter’s algorithmic “For You” timeline will now be the default feed for iOS devices. You are not dreaming if you feel like you have been here before. The corporation has attempted this ploy before, only to back down and provide the choice to revert to a traditional schedule after receiving several complaints.

Then why is this time any different? The Elon Musk-led business has begun displaying algorithmic and chronological feeds simultaneously. Simply swiping the screen allows the user to navigate between the two. To toggle between the “Home” and “Latest” timelines, users previously had to hit the glitter symbol in the upper right corner. Twitter says the new branding for its “For You” and “Following” timelines makes it easier for users to navigate between the two.

The “For you” and “Following” tabs replace “Home” and “Latest” and will be pinned to the top of your timeline so you can easily switch between them. Swipe to switch timelines instead of tapping the ✨ icon.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) January 11, 2023

The problem with this layout, however, is that users will be presented with the algorithmic timeline by default, and they may end up using the chronological timeline less often as a result.

As an additional annoyance, this update makes it more difficult to navigate between pinned lists on your account, which is unpleasant if you use these lists to see alternate timelines.

We have no excuse for not anticipating this outcome. In a tweet from last month, Musk suggested that users “easily sideways swipe between top, newest, trending, and subjects that you follow” on the “primary timeline.

Twitter said last month that it will begin including more tweets from users who aren’t already following you in your timeline. At the time, the business argued that this adjustment will help to exposing the “best” material on the platform to everyone.

Twitter is hardly the only culpable entity in promoting algorithmic feeds. The “For You” feed, which is generated by an algorithm, is already shown to TikTok users when they launch the app. Instagram has begun promoting recommended material to users as well. The firm allows customers to choose between a chronological feed and a favourites feed, but there is no way to make any of them the default. Nonetheless, Instagram is not stopping there. Last year, Mark Zuckerberg claimed that the business is intending to increase the quantity of suggested material by this year’s end.

Aside from making an algorithmic timeline the default feed, the firm is also introducing new features. Musk has said that bold, italic, and underline font options, along with other customizations, are in the works for Twitter users. As he said, this is all with the hope that more people would “write long-form material natively” on the site.