Jack Dorsey says new Twitter timeline won’t be #RIPTwitter

8 Feb 2016

No it is not #RIPTwitter, at least according to the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, who took to the site to defend the new Twitter timeline algorithm, denying it will follow a Facebook-like feed.

Rumours of a new Twitter timeline have been rumbling for the past week, with claims that Twitter is to ditch its minute-by-minute timeline in favour of a new algorithm that would take tweets its AI thinks you’d like and prioritise them over others, then followed by live tweets.

This, unsurprisingly, caused a bit of a stir with users, who had plenty of questions for Twitter and its CEO about how Twitter plans to use its algorithm to choose what comes first, given that the site doesn’t ask for you to list your ‘likes’.

Eventually, the questions boiled over into anger, with the internet doing what it does best – whipping up into a frenzy over wild speculation that led to #RIPTwitter trending globally.

Make Twitter more ‘Twitter-y’

With some official clarification needed, Dorsey eventually took to his Twitter account in an attempt to lessen fears of the end of Twitter, claiming that Twitter would actually become more ‘Twitter-y’.

While not revealing exactly what Dorsey and Twitter really plan to do, or the timeline in which they’ll do it, the latest speculation suggests that it will take a familiar, relatively recent addition – the ‘while you were away’ tweet at the top of a feed – and expand it a little bit more.

So, when a user logs in, the most popular tweets they would have missed in the intervening time would be displayed in a series, followed by the regular timeline thereafter.

Or, if the user doesn’t want to see it, they refresh the page and it should revert back to the normal timeline.

All of this plays into Twitter’s attempts to introduce big changes in the face of greater competition, such as its ditching of the 140 character limit for direct messages in favour of a 10,000 character limit. Other new potential shake-ups have also been discussed quite openly.

Twitter timeline image via zamzawawi isa/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic