More tweets from users you don’t follow !!
More algorithmic recommendations are reportedly coming as new Twitter owner Elon Musk tinkers with the social network’s feature set.
On Wednesday, the Twitter support account posted a tweet regarding the modification, stating that the service was “extending recommendations to all users.” Of course, this falls under the principle of providing users with the “best” content (Instagram also likes to use this argument), but in practice, incorporating more recommendations into a social feed primes users to anticipate more paid content as well.
While linking to a prior blog post that explains how algorithmic content works and where it could appear, Twitter did not provide any additional information about the change to recommendations. Recommendations “may display in your Home timeline, select locations under the Explore tab, and elsewhere on Twitter,” the post states. Right now, selecting the sparkle button in the timeline’s upper right corner will allow you to choose between the home feed and the “recent tweets.”
We’ve tweeted into the void to ask Twitter for more clarification, but it’s not immediately obvious if the company intends to stream more suggested tweets into the “home” timeline or if this is something more aggressive. Changes that appear to be currently affecting home feeds have already been noted by several users.
Twitter provides two alternative feeds: “home,” a curated selection of the most well-liked tweets from your followers, and “recent tweets,” which shows tweets from individuals you follow chronologically. According to our observations, the latter was primarily a non-chronological compilation of tweets from the people we did follow, while it occasionally mixed in some recommendations from outside of our following lists.
We won’t be surprised to see Twitter use heavy-handed recommendations or even modify the default feed in that direction given Musk’s penchant for fast implementing significant feature changes (and then turning them back), so we’ll keep an eye out for anything significant.
Before Musk, the platform had intended to give suggestions more prominence, but it changed its mind in response to customer complaints. On Instagram, individuals have expressed a similar fatigue at seeing content from users they don’t follow clog up their feeds. Serving algorithmically chosen material is in the very DNA of TikTok, but many other social networks must exercise greater caution.
Apps like Twitter and Instagram have to gradually turn on the algorithmic spigot because they were initially created to allow users follow people they already knew (or knew of). This is done in the hopes that users won’t notice any significant changes. We’ll have to wait and see in this scenario.