Posted August 20, 2014 9:32 am by with 4 comments

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Cash WhaleRemember when Twitter introduced the official retweet option and thousands of users vowed to start blocking anyone that caused a stranger to show up in their stream?* Well, they ain’t gonna like this update from Twitter either.

As spotted by Quartz, Twitter has quietly changed its help document, What’s a Twitter timeline?

“Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timelineThis means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t followWe select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with itOur goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.” (emphasis added)

Some folks are already reporting that any tweet they mark as a favorite is being shown in the timeline of their followers, but this seems to be something more.

It appears opens the door for more sponsored tweets to show up in your time line. While popularity and interaction by those in your network are highlighted in Twitter’s text, so is the seemingly innocuous “a variety of signals.” You know, like the “they paid a lot of money” signal. 😉

On a personal note, changes like this annoys the sugar honey ice tea out of me. I wish Twitter and Facebook would stop trying to guess what I would like to see and just show me what I actually asked to see! Grrrr!

*OK, it may have only been SugarRae, but she made enough noise about it. 😉

  • I’d rather see updates from the brands I choose to follow—-all the updates (more a Facebook issues), than have Twitter or Facebook tell me what I might like to see. While I appreciate broadening my horizons I want to see the things I choose to see first and foremost.

  • Luis Garcia de la Fuente

    One step more for Twitter in becoming a media company, instead of a social company

  • Another step towards apeing Facebook. Turning favorites into RT’s fundamentally changes the purpose of favorites. Granted, it’s an under used element of most people’s accounts but the action of favoring a tweet is substantially different to that of a RT.

    With Facebook there is a continued challenge to ensure your current is visible, a challenge faced less with Twitter (but also harder to measure.) By adding unwanted content into our streams, Twitter takes another step away from its original value and one closer to Facebook.