#RIPTwitter was trending this weekend following a Buzzfeed article revealing that the platform was to roll out a Facebook-style algorithm feed. The move angered many of its users, who cherish the current equality of the timeline, where celebrity voices nestle next to Joe Bloggs.
Saturday morning, Passle posted a poll in response to the rumour, asking users which change they'd prefer. After over 1000 votes, introducing an edit button was the clear winner (51% of votes), while the algorithm lost by some margin (only 2% of votes). You can see our original tweet by clicking here.
The rumour seemed to be a classic example of a corporation alienating its core user base in order to reach out to a different audience. While previously Twitter gave the impression of listening to its users (incorporating retweets following the user-led practice of typing RT for instance), here they felt ignored.
Fortunately, and probably because of the fuss, Twitter were forced to issue a statement to let people know that this change will not be happening. Instead, they are working on developing further the 'While you were away...' feature while keeping the timeline intact. You can read more here.
It's not the first time in recent months that Twitter has courted controversy, let's see if this spells gloom for the platform, or whether they manage to get to the other side of it triumphantly....
Yet, Jack Dorsey, who took the reins of Twitter as permanent CEO in October, has expressed a willingness to rethink the platform’s core tenets. “We continue to show a questioning of our fundamentals in order to make the product easier and more accessible to more people,” he said in July. In November, the company killed off the traditional term favorites and replaced it with likes. An algorithmic feed would be, to date, the boldest change so far under Dorsey. Also being rethought: Twitter’s 140 character limit, which seems headed for an end as well. Twitter has been testing the algorithmic timeline with a small group of users. It appears the test went well enough to roll it out more broadly.