Reports: Twitter to introduce opt-in algorithmic timeline

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Social networking website Twitter plans to introduce an algorithmic timeline as early as next week, but the feature is said to be optional and a chronological timeline will remain, according to reports.

The new algorithmic timeline would display tweets that the social networking website deems to be most interesting to its users, according to BuzzFeed News, which cited unnamed sources. Josh Sternberg, the director of branded content at NBC News, said his sources at Twitter told him that the algorithms are “strictly opt in.”

An algorithmic timeline would make Twitter more like Facebook, which has long displayed posts using various algorithms to determine what people are most likely to want to see. Twitter had already introduced a “While You Were Away” section for popular tweets during a user’s absence, and the reported change would expand on that.

Twitter, which currently has about 332 million active users around the world as of last month, is a popular tool among journalists who use Twitter to monitor news reports in real time. An initial report from BuzzFeed News, which did not clarify whether the chronological timeline would remain, immediately provoked outrage from some of its high-profile users.

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