Twitter probably thinks it’s doing us a favour algorithmically sorting tweets but what it’s really doing is creating a frustrating Twitter feed balagan.
One of the reasons I use Twitter so much more than Facebook (which I barely use, such that when I do open the Facebook app, I frequently see messages from Facebook trying to reassure me that it’s safe to return) is that Twitter has historically let me just see tweets in reverse chronological order.
Sure, Twitter also has a sort of “featured tweets” section at the top of my feed. For the most part, that’s ok, because I can scroll down to see everything else. That doesn’t happen anymore. If I look at a sampling of my Twitter feed (below*), it’s a mess. I have tweets presented in random time order and I’m not even sure if that is all of them.
Twitter may be doing this because they realise that users who follow a lot of people hardly ever see everything. Or something. At the same time, don’t mess with what I do get to see. This algorithmic approach to presenting my Twitter feed just kills the value for me.
At the moment, the only thing that keeps me returning to Twitter is because I haven’t worked out how to follow all the awesome people who make it worthwhile, outside Twitter (yet). As soon as I figure that out, the Twitter app will join Facebook in Phone Limbo.
*Here’s that Twitter feed sample, if you’re interested. Look at the timestamps:
I just tried to look up an actress on Twitter and saw this little graphic. You really don’t see Twitter down very often. The one thought I have is to check to see where people are expressing their panic about Twitter being down and then I realise two things:
Twitter will be back up soon and we’ll be back to #normal; and
Twitter being down isn’t such a big deal, for the most part. It means everyone has a forced break and a chance to actually talk to each other; step outside and see where they are walking and a number of other things.
I remember the #FailWhale days a few years ago. This is just a reminder that these things can happen. Of course the irony is that when I publish this questionably useful post, most of my usual readers won’t see it. Because, well, Twitter is down.