Microblogging site Twitter will begin testing the placement of ‘recommended tweets’ into users’ feeds from today.
Twitter’s director of product management, Trevor O’Brien, wrote in a blog post that initial small-scale experiments had gone well, encouraging the company to begin testing on a wide scale.
"The best tweets come from people you already know, or know of," read the statement.
"But there are times when you might miss out on tweets we think you’d enjoy. To help you keep up with what’s happening, we’ve been testing ways to include these tweets in your timeline – ones we think you’ll find interesting or entertaining."
Which tweets get recommended for a specific user is based on data on how actively they interact with accounts they do follow and what tweets are proving popular.
Reaction on Twitter itself to the news has been overwhelmingly negative, with user’s questioning why ‘recommended tweets’ is not optional and unfavourably comparing the scheme to a similar policy operated by Facebook.
@twitter please don't. I just want to see the tweets of the people I follow. Thanks.
— HSoulEater (@hsofia) October 17, 2014
.@twitter If I find it interesting I will follow them. If I don’t follow I don’t want to see. Please, don’t turn Twitter into Facebook.
— Kev Meredith (@KymriskaDraken) October 17, 2014
Anyone want to join me in reporting @twitter for spam in response to them inserting tweets from people we don't follow into our timelines?
— Patrick Fenelon (@Patrick_Fenelon) October 17, 2014
Thanks, but I’ll pass. “@twitter: We’re testing & exploring ways to include Tweets in your timeline we think you’ll find interesting
— Max Mason (@MaxMasonUMass) October 17, 2014
While the testing phase begins today, recommended tweets won’t immediately feature on every user’s account.
Twitter has also announced it’s closing its photo-sharing service Twitpic. Users have been given nine days to export their images before they disappear.
Twitter mobile image via Shutterstock