How to turn off the new Twitter algorithm

A few weeks ago, Twitter decided to quietly turn on their long-discussed-and-tested sorting algorithm. Similar to Facebook (or Twitter’s “While You Were Gone” feature), by default Twitter timelines will display tweets using an algorithm based on who one interacts with, as well as other interests.

The idea is making new readers more comfortable using Twitter. However, a curated timeline undermines the whole appeal and functionality of Twitter, especially during important or live events (live-tweeting wouldn’t be feasible). It’s also assuming that all of the ideas of their competitor (Facebook) are good ones.

Fortunately, Twitter seems to know this might not be popular with everyone, and offers (for now) a way to deactivate this new feature. To turn this sorted timeline feature off (instructions taken from Twitter’s help page):

  • In Twitter’s Android app, look under Settings > Timeline, and uncheck “Show me the best Tweets first.”
  • In Twitter’s iOS app, under Settings, select the Twitter account you want, then go to Timeline > Timeline personalization. Uncheck “Show me the best Tweets first.”
  • On Twitter.com, go to your account settings page, then look under Content > Timeline. Uncheck the “Show me the best Tweets first” box.

How do you feel about the new Twitter algorithm?

Flickr photo by Shawn Campbell (CC BY)

(Updated 8/9/16)

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