February 10, 2016 10:57 am

New Twitter timeline feature will push ‘best tweets’ to the top

Twitter's new timeline has finally been unveiled - but it's not the big change some users feared.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo/dpa, Soeren Stache, File

Twitter’s widely anticipated, highly controversial timeline redesign has finally been unveiled.

The social media company announced Wednesday that users will be able to opt-in to a new feature that will show tweets sorted by relevancy first, instead of chronological order.

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“You flip on the feature in your settings; then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you’re most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline – still recent and in reverse chronological order,” read a Twitter blog post.

“The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always. At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new Tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love.”

The big news here is that Twitter’s classic reverse chronological timeline is not going anywhere, something that was a major concern for longtime Twitter users.

It’s also important to note that the feature is entirely opt-in right now, so you don’t have to use the new feature if you like your timeline the way it is now.

In late December, reports that Twitter was experimenting with a feature that would show tweets out of chronological order sparked user outage — many warning that the change would ruin the platform altogether.

Last week — as those continued rumours sparked the hashtag #RIPTwitter — CEO Jack Dorsey took to his own account to put the rumours to rest.

“Regarding #RIPTwitter: I want you all to know we’re always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week,” said Dorsey. “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.”

Of course, some are now calling foul on Dorsey’s remarks, noting that despite the opt-in nature of the new timeline feature it still technically reorders your timeline.

In January, the platform introduced the “While you were away” feature, designed to let users catch up on the tweets they missed since they last logged on, which is similar to the new timeline feature.

User reaction on the platform remained mixed shortly after the announcement Wednesday; however, many noted that the so-called big change wasn’t so big at all.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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