Twitter recently announced changes to its timeline that’ll look something more like Facebook — a timeline where it chooses what you should see based on your interests. You can call me a curmudgeon but I hate this change. It’s not because I don’t think they’ll do a good job curating content; it’s for the unintended consequences.
I do kinda like some of the tweets they automatically populate in my feed however there are some issues or better yet unintended consequences that I’m weary of. Both are due to the fact that Twitter will no longer be completely time-based.
One of the very first things I do in the morning is check Twitter. This isn’t to see new notifications or anything like that. It’s to check the gosh darn traffic. @WTOPtraffic gets my eyes at 5:30AM almost everyday. They are one of the few people/businesses/things I follow that tweeting that early. It’s so simple for me to do less than one scroll and find them. But recently, like this morning, they are buried beneath “curated content” from last night. I did like 19 scrolls before getting through it and finally seeing @WTOPtraffic, clicking ‘em and seeing the traffic updates. I could have searched @WTO… and found it but I don’t want change. I’m not happy about this unintended consequence.
The other thing I’m worried about is watching live events — like baseball. Twitter was made for watching live events and tweeting thoughts and following what other people are saying. The moment that my live feed starts getting rearranged I’m gonna be upset. A tweet from 6 minutes ago getting moved to the top makes Twitter so much less functional. And don’t even get me started on live Twitter chats.
I’m sure Twitter’s gonna be fine and bounce back from its recent struggles but it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about the changes that are coming and their unintended consequences.
PS: Yes I know I can turn this feature off BUT, kinda like Facebook, the ability to get rid of curated content may one day slip from our abilities and I’m looking ahead.