Twitter is to allow users to switch back to a reverse chronological timeline following months of discontent from users over how tweets appear in feeds.
Until 2016, Twitter timelines operated show that the newest tweets from people a user followed appeared at the top of the feed.
This was altered in 2016 to an algorithm-based system that combined this with tweets the company thought were relevant to the user – including tweets liked by accounts the user did not follow but which the site deemed “relevant”.
This system has been a source of frustration to many users, but now the social media site has confirmed it is working on a system to allow users to switch between both versions of the timeline.
The site said it has also tweaked its current settings to enable users to turn off its algorithmic feed entirely.
In a series of tweets from the company’s official Support account, Twitter said: “we’re working on providing you with an easily accessible way to switch between a timeline of Tweets that are most relevant for you and a timeline of the latest Tweets. You’ll see us test this in the coming weeks.
“Meanwhile, today we updated the ‘Show the best Tweets first’ setting. When off, you’ll only see Tweets from people you follow in reverse chronological order. Previously when turned off, you’d also see ‘In case you missed it’ and recommended Tweets from people you don’t follow.”
The update arrives just as Twitter user Emma Kinema posted details of how muting a string of keywords on the site had helped her manually revert her timeline to chronological order.
At the time of writing, that tweet has received more than 46,000 Likes and 18,000 Retweets – offering an insight into how popular such a layout remains.
Twitter appears to have spotted this mood among users too but said it has been planning this update for some time, rather than doing so in response to this latest viral tweet.
“We’ve learned that when showing the best Tweets first, people find Twitter more relevant and useful. However, we’ve heard feedback from people who at times prefer to see the most recent Tweets,” the company said.
“Our goal with the timeline is to balance showing you the most recent Tweets with the best Tweets you’re likely to care about, but we don’t always get this balance right.”