In March 2016, Twitter decided to switch to a more intelligent algorithmic feed. Up until now, users were only shown the most recent post updates at the top of their news feed, which has now changed to seeing tweets that Twitter believes matches a user’s own preferences. Here is the official statement from Twitter, which summarises the transition:
“Tweets you are likely to care about most will show up first in your timeline. We choose them based on accounts you interact with most, Tweets you engage with, and much more. You can find instructions for how to turn off this behaviour here.”
The initial launch was on February 10th, which gave users an option to reject the changes for their own news feed, however as of March 16th, it became the default and the only way to disable it is through your settings.
A minority of users have expressed dissatisfaction, nevertheless, it has potential to make their experience more enjoyable and relevant. On the other hand, for businesses, there are significant implications for their Twitter marketing activities.
Facebook was the first social medium to make the algorithm change, which means organisations potentially having to pay more to get the required visibility in front of their target audience. On Twitter, the implication of a chronological timeline is that users view Tweets fairly randomly and, essentially, it’s entirely dependent on how often and when they open their apps. When marketing on Twitter, organisations have relied on this chance factor.
An algorithmic feed plays into the hands of expert social media marketers. Marketing on Twitter becomes a huge opportunity because they’re able to ensure that a user sees relevant content when they open the Twitter app. Social media marketing is intensely competitive in battling for the attention of the user, the algorithmic feed gives Twitter marketers greater control over what they see, rather than it being a lottery.
Not all organisations will be able to organically create content that filters through the algorithm. Advertising-driven media companies, for example, will have to pay to get the visibility that they want. Resultantly, Twitter (and Instagram) are hoping to receive huge boosts in their revenue, as enjoyed by Facebook.
Overall, these developments promise to entirely change the landscape of marketing on Twitter. In order to take maximum advantage of this and change the direction of your social media marketing activities, book your free digital marketing consultation.