A few days ago, we reported that Twitter was running an experiment by adding favourited tweets to some users’ timelines — meaning that they were acting like retweets.
While some people were a bit upset with their timelines being tinkered with, the company recently changed its tune when it added that your timeline can consist of tweets it thinks are “popular” or “relevant”.
On Twitter’s support page, What’s a Twitter Timeline?, the site lists a couple of key characteristics of what should appear on your timeline. Apart from the original description that read the timeline presents tweets from people you chose to follow, their retweets as well as promoted tweets, the company recently elaborated to add the following:
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.
To sum up, Twitter says your timeline can consist of information it thinks should be of interest to you.
As The Next Web states, Twitter is moving into a data curation space where — like Facebook — you don’t have full control of what you see (and what you don’t).
While promoted tweets can get annoying, they are identified as such — advertised content. Could this recent move mean Twitter is starting to roll-out native tweets, or ads disguised as user generated content?
In June this year when Twitter acquired specialist native ad startup Namo Media, the company’s VP of Product for Revenue Kevin Weil wrote, “We believe strongly that all app developers large and small should be able to monetize their applications without sacrificing the user experience.”