Twitter brings back chronological timelines

Gerald Bowen
September 20, 2018

If Twitter has deemed a brand's tweets more relevant for a user, and that user switches to a chronological timeline, then there's a chance the organic post from that brand may not be readily surfaced for the user. You'll see us test this in the coming weeks. Twitter will have "Show me the best Tweets first" automatically checked in this menu-you'll want to uncheck it.

Twitter has reintroduced the option to view its feed in reverse chronological order.

In the meantime, Twitter has changed the way one of its settings works. "Our goal with the timeline is to balance showing you the most recent Tweets with the best Tweets you're likely to care about, but we don't always get this balance right", Twitter said. If you go into Settings and switch off "show the best tweets first", tweets will show up in reverse chronological order.

You won't even see features like "In case you missed it" - a feature meant to catch you up on the latest by showing you the tweets everyone got the most mad at - or tweets liked by people you follow.

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In the future, Twitter plans on adding a new setting that allows you to easily toggle between the displaying of tweets that Twitter feels are interesting and the displaying of only users you follow. Like Facebook before it, Twitter recognized that there were now so many tweets that nobody was going to read them all - unless they followed a fairly small number of users.

However, Twitter intends to provide an easy-access switch that will enable people to toggle between the two approaches.

Of all the many attributes of social media that might frustrate its users, a lack of chronological sorting probably takes top billing. However, if users switch to the chronological timeline, they may begin to miss out on many viral tweets, which has become a defining part of the platform.

Twitter has been monkeying with users' timelines for the past couple of years to make them more engaging, but now the social network is going back to basics. Next, select the "Settings and privacy" option, and then Content preferences.

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