Twitter’s looking to make it easier for people to access the latest tweets from users that they follow, with a new option to pin a ‘Latest Tweets’ timeline, so you can simply swipe across to see an algorithm-free tweet feed.
As you can see here, now, when you tap on the star icon to view tweets in reverse chronological order, you’ll also have the option to pin your ‘Latest’ timeline, which will then add it as a swipeable, permanent alternative feed.
That addresses user calls for a reverse chronological tweet feed, and while Twitter has had this sorting option available to users since 2018, the added capacity to create a separate, real-time stream of your latest tweets will make it an even more accessible consideration, providing an easier way to avoid algorithm sorting.
Which, interestingly enough, is what former CEO Jack Dorsey essentially proposed last August, with this tweet.
I used @getvicarious to create and sync a list of all accounts I’m following, set that list to be reverse chron, named it “Latest” and pinned it, and now I can quickly swipe between ranked (algorithm) and all tweets as they happen— jack⚡️ (@jack) August 12, 2021
(inspired by an idea from team) pic.twitter.com/ZfSg9pGeds
Which was a little odd at the time, because Dorsey was still in charge of the app. Like, if he saw such value in this option, why not make it an actual, native tweet addition, as opposed to using a third-party app?
Which is what Twitter has now done – which it actually launched to some users back in October, though in a slightly different form.
Top Tweets first or latest Tweets first? We’re making it easier to switch between the two timelines and know which one you’re scrolling.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) October 12, 2021
Now testing with some of you on iOS: swipe between "Home" and "Latest" on the Home tab to choose which Tweets you see first. pic.twitter.com/LoyAN4cONu
Now, all users will have the option to create a swipeable ‘Latest’ feed, if they choose, as opposed to it being automatically added. So if you like the current feed, no problem, but if you want the option to check out the latest tweets as they come through, you can also do that.
How popular it will be is difficult to guess. Twitter’s switch to a default algorithm feed has been effective, with tweet engagement steadily rising since it rolled out the option, which presents your tweets based on overall engagement, as well as your personal interactive behaviors in the app.
But at the same time, many Twitter users view the algorithm-defined feed as being contrary to what Twitter is all about, in highlighting the latest news and updates in real-time. As a result, calls for the removal of the Twitter algorithm have persisted over time, and even though, as noted, Twitter has provided an option to switch over to a ‘Latest’ feed for the past three years, the fact that your stream reverts to the algorithm, and that you can’t set ‘Latest’ as the default, has frustrated some users.
This should address those concerns – so long as users are aware of it.
At the least, it should help to quell some angst over the algorithm-defined feed, by providing a simple option to avoid tweet ranking if you choose.