Twitter Portrait

Twitter Announces Potential Changes, Users Lose Their Shit

People don't like the idea of a Facebook-like Twitter. Not one bit

Earlier today at a tech conference in New York, the chief financial officer of Twitter, Anthony Noto, talked publicly about how Twitter’s feed might be changing.

Specifically, Noto suggested that Twitter might start using an algorithm to display tweets. Instead of showing tweets in pure chronological order, the algorithm might bump trending tweets—or tweets with breaking news—directly to the top of a user’s feed. In other words, Twitter might become a lot more like Facebook.

Twitter users were somewhat less than amused.

09/04/14 18:40 UTC@HervyInstance

Fuck algorithms. Fuck Facebook. Fuck twitter turning into Facebook. Fuck everything.

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09/04/14 17:16 UTC@groditi

hey @twitter, fuck you. A massive, collective and real-time experience is what we like, it's not our fault you don't understand your users.

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09/04/14 19:30 UTC@akitafuki

Man, if my Twitter feed changes to anything similar with how Facebook does it, I am going to be very sad/angry.

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It’s not all that surprising. For one, people in general don’t like change. Two, Twitter users are very, very ready to tell you exactly what they don’t like—particularly when their favorite social media platform might wind up looking like their least favorite social media platform.

09/04/14 18:25 UTC@deannaraybourn

Oh,and Twitter? We're here because we hate FB with hot rage. Just be you, mmmkay?

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09/04/14 18:27 UTC@oler

Dear @Twitter, reverse chronological order is the most (and only) relevant experience for me and many others. Don't fuck this up, please.

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09/04/14 18:28 UTC@RadCurmudgeon

Pretty soon it will be time to leave Twitter. Where will we go next?

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Part of what’s so enjoyable about Twitter is the fact that it’s a raw and seemingly live experience. Selectively arranging the content—even if it’s based off an algorithm—does seem to indicate a substantial shift for Twitter.

09/04/14 17:50 UTC@JosephScrimshaw

Almost every tweet in my feed is hating on the filtered feed idea. I agree. Don't screw with my unfiltered hate, twitter!

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09/04/14 18:41 UTC@rossneumann

*Twitter product manager looks at Twitter for first time today* "lol"

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09/04/14 18:25 UTC@civilwarbore

Hey @Twitter, I don't need your algorithm to curate my feed. I can do that just fine. Maybe devote resources to reducing abuse on yr service

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09/04/14 18:48 UTC@Liminal

.@Twitter - your algorithm is going to make you LESS relevant.

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Now, to be clear, Twitter hasn’t actually rolled out any of these plans yet. But it didn’t help matters that on Wednesday Twitter had also effectively shut down TwitPic, a beloved third-party picture service people used to upload photos.

09/04/14 18:03 UTC@jennifertribe

I like @TwitPic. Sad to hear they're shutting down because @Twitter has contested their trademark. http://t.co/NSenL4C7vr

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09/04/14 19:02 UTC@punctuation

Very sad to hear about @TwitPic shutting down. A great service and a really decent guy running it (@noaheverett ) :(

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On Thursday afternoon, just as Twitter users reached a fever pitch of frustration, company CEO Dick Costolo stepped in to tell people that they were freaking over for nothing and to chill the hell out.

09/04/14 18:09 UTC@dickc

.@mathewi @om he never said a "filtered feed is coming whether you like it or not". Goodness, what an absurd synthesis of what was said.

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To which the original writer of the story responded:

09/04/14 18:16 UTC@mathewi

@dickc: He strongly suggested it was coming though, did he not? The "whether you like it or not" is my interpretation of the reaction to it

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Calling Twitter users “absurd”—that should go over well. Watch your feeds for more vitriol.

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