Twitter time is out of joint. A number of users have been selected to test a new feature, which some already consider a bug, finding their precious tweets presented according to an algorithmic mystery rather than in the predictable reverse-chronological order to which they're accustomed.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to Motherboard that this is a quote "experiment." It's in keeping with a company that's shown a growing interest in attracting new users while sometimes displaying a willingness to alienate existing addicts. For example, in a symbolic gesture that was nonetheless irksome — for like five seconds, if you ask me — the company traded "favorite" stars for "like" hearts. Some said that move aped Facebook, and certainly a move to a non-chronologically ordered feed would ape Facebook's timeline too. It's kind of like the company's relatively recent "While You Were Away" feature, but like, all the time.
Some users, of course on Twitter where everyone complains about these things, have been quick to point to a number of potential problems with the new format. Activist users, for example, or users in crisis situations rely on seeing up-to-date-tweets first.
I realize that academic/cultural uses of twitter aren't everything, but surely they understand the importance of timeline? For activism?— Megan Brett (@magpie) December 8, 2015
On the company's latest earnings call, CEO Jack Dorsey said, "Did I mention we need to make Twitter easier?" then repeated himself for droll effect, "We want to do that, too. Oh and also make Twitter easier to use."