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By now, fans of the popular social media app Twitter should be used to change. The micro-blogging platform has, after all, gone through much evolution over the past few years. First the company increased the character limit. Then they made pictures and video available (particularly after acquiring and/or developing other, similar platforms like Vine, Periscope, and more).
As Twitter has evolved, so has its competitors (like Facebook, who now owns photo-blogging platform Instagram). Facebook, of course, is the most powerful of the social media sites, so when it changes, everybody else pays attention. And one thing that the reigning network has done, more recently anyway, was to transform the user’s page into a timeline, arranging stories and news chronologically.
Successfully making this changeover was not easy, but Facebook managed to do it. This, of course, has now introduced the idea of change to many other networks and Twitter is no different. As a matter of fact, Twitter has, apparently, hinted at the possibility of switching its core algorithm so that tweets now appear in your feed according to what Twitter thinks you want to see.
Originally, of course, Tweets appeared in reverse chronological order, the most recent tweet appearing first, followed by the next recent and so on. The new idea, then, would be more like what Facebook did with its news feed: trying to deliver news, stories, and links, according to your behavior and your trends.
The concept, at least for Facebook (and more importantly, its marketing strategy), makes a whole lot of sense. Users will be more likely to follow the stories they like and to click on ads associated with these stories as well. But is this the right environment for Twitter?
Most users argue that it is not. In fact, upon the mere speculation that this could happen, the #RIPTwitter hashtag began to populate the web. The trend grow so quickly that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had to release a tweet which detailed that the company “never planned to reorder timelines.”
While this might be reassuring to users—and the investors who need to keep the membership and active user numbers up—Dorsey also did not necessarily rule out the change in the future. Furthermore, the rapid backlash over the uncertainty has raised more uncertainty over the future of the platform, and that has investors uncertain about the future of the platform overall.