Twitter has finally delivered on its promise to give users more control over their timelines.
An update released on Tuesday, December 18 for iOS (coming soon to Android) lets you switch between an algorithm-generated timeline or, as some people like to have it, a timeline that shows the most recent tweets first.
It’s really simple to switch between the two types of timeline. Once you’ve updated the app to the latest version, you’ll see a “sparkle” button at the top right of the screen. Tapping on it brings up a button that lets you change to the latest tweets.
If you’re away “for a while,” Twitter says it will switch your timeline back to top tweets, but the timeline showing the latest tweets is, from here on in, never more than a couple of taps away.
New on iOS! Starting today, you can tap to switch between the latest and top Tweets in your timeline. Coming soon to Android. pic.twitter.com/6B9OQG391S
— Twitter (@Twitter) December 18, 2018
Twitter upset a chunk of its community in 2016 when it replaced the reverse chronological timeline with one that showed the “best tweets first,” along with “in case you missed it” posts, and recommended tweets from people you don’t follow.
Many users felt it cluttered up their carefully curated timeline and messed up the order.
Granted, Twitter did, at the time, include a button in Settings that let you turn off top tweets, but even when this was set to “off,” timelines still included “in case you missed it” posts and recommended tweets that were likely posted many hours before, leaving some users confused.
After listening to feedback, Twitter started moving toward reintroducing a pure latest-tweets timeline in September. This week marks the final step in that journey, with the new sparkle button making it easier than ever to switch between both timeline styles.
“We’ve learned that when showing the best tweets first, people find Twitter more relevant and useful,” the company said recently, adding, “However, we’ve heard feedback from people who at times prefer to see the most recent tweets.”
The arrival of the timeline button shows that Twitter is taking note of user feedback, though admittedly it’s taken two long years to find a system that suits the company and, hopefully, the users, too.
Fingers crossed it won’t be another two years before it finally launches an edit button.
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