Remember 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.
“Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our 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.