Tweet, Twit, Twat

bluebirdLast night (or so), Buzzfeed scooped that Twitter was going to fundamentally change the nature of their service, and start using an algorithm for displaying what tweets appear in what order in your timeline:

The timeline will reorder tweets based on what Twitter’s algorithm thinks people most want to see, a departure from the current feed’s reverse chronological order.

It is unclear whether Twitter will force users to use the algorithmic feed, or it will merely be an option.

There’s really not enough detail in this late Friday Night news leak to really understand what is going on. Twitter has a right to modify their platform for whatever they see as a business need, and they have been in a sort of free-fall with their shareholders. They are running a business, after all.

What I suspect is that this algorithm is really about advertising and promotion. Just like with Google Searches, the top hits are always paid sponsors, and so I suspect the top Tweets will be similar; I’m not sure it is the end of the world by any means.

All that said, what everyone forgets about Social Media is that YOU are the product that the company sells to advertisers. As on wag put it, no one asks the cow if she wants to be a Big Mac. Sorry kids.

Twitter knows what you are interested in, what your thoughts are on everything from movies and teevee shows, to who you support for Preznint. Advertisers could micro-target their ads in that environment, and they must be salivating at the prospect.

As a real-time platform, Twitter could truly show you things you do want to know about. It might also just promote celebrity junk (Bieb’s new haircut!) if the thing is based upon popularity.

All that said, one hopes that Twitter also brings something to us in the process.

  • Those 140 characters are precious, so why not allow us to embed hyperlinks?
  • Or perhaps give us more robust tools for blocking/muting people.
  • A mute feature with a timer might be really nifty so when everyone on the East Coast is spoiling the season finally of you favorite show, you can remain blissfully unaware and then 3-hours later (or whatever) your followers appear again?
  • I would personally like a way I could untag myself from long back-and-forths with other users. It’s like being kidnapped.
  • I would be happy if the @Twitter handle ever responded to issues raised by users in a timely manner. (Like Facebook, Twitter has its share of bad actors that need to be monitored/policed in real time.)

There’s so many things that Twitter could give us Big Macs in exchange for the algorithm, it might take the sting off of the sense of being used.

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4 Responses to Tweet, Twit, Twat

  1. another kiwi says:

    I’d like to be able to excuse myself from conversations too, and edit for maybe 30 seconds after I tweet (fuck I’d LOVE that). The latest poop is that we will have to opt in to this new thing. That would be a bit more considerate.
    But my timeline is full of “This is the end, dear friends” today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kct says:

    Quick! Everyone! send as many Beibs tweets to @tengrain as possible!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. C Montgomery Burns says:

    Just don’t fuck with my Twatter porn, otherwise. ‘retwat’.

    Like

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