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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To which the original writer of the story responded:
Calling Twitter users “absurd”—that should go over well. Watch your feeds for more vitriol.