Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has released a statement denying that the social network will make users’ timelines algorithmic. Kind of.
While Dorsey has stated that Twitter “never planned to reorder timelines next week”, The Guardian points out that his statement doesn’t equivocally rule out the possibility of this happening in the future.
For now, it looks like Dorsey is moving to quell the Twitter storm that erupted after Buzzfeed posted an article saying that the site had learned that Twitter planned to use an algorithm to reorder users’ timelines based on what Twitter thought they most wanted to see.
This would be a massive change from the status quo as currently users’ view their feeds in chronological order.
Buzzfeed’s article caused many users’ to take to Twitter to express their outrage over the change, using the hashtag #RIPTwitter.
While the introduction of an algorithm would certainly eliminate a lot of dreck from the timelines of users who follow thousands of accounts, many Twitter users were upset that updates from the accounts they’re following would lose immediacy – which is pretty much one of Twitter’s most popular features.
Dorsey released a series of tweets in response to the outrage saying:
Hello Twitter! Regarding #RIPTwitter: I want you all to know we're always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week.
— jack (@jack) February 6, 2016
Dorsey went on to say “Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time. Twitter is about who & what you follow. And Twitter is here to stay! By becoming more Twitter-y.”
What exactly Dorsey means by that last remark is anyone’s guess, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that some changes to Twitter may be in the pipeline. Over the last three months, Twitter has seen a significant drop in its share price; it tumbled 5% to an all-time low since the company was first floated on the stock market back in 2013.
Its woes were compounded recently by the departure of four of its vice presidents. What ever this ‘Twitter-y’ magic Dorsey is talking about is, it might be a good idea to implement it quickly.