Twitter, the social media service built around a reverse-chronological list of posts, is switching things around.
Starting today, Twitter users will be able to choose to automatically shuffle tweets they might have missed to the top of their timeline when they launch the app, even if those tweets were posted minutes or hours ago. When the user refreshes their timeline, the out-of-order tweets disappear and Twitter resumes as it always has.
“When you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you’re most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline – still recent and in reverse chronological order,” writes Mike Jahr, a senior engineering manager at Twitter, in a blog post today.
The rationale behind the shift is that users who follow hundreds of accounts might miss content they want to see, and this is a personalized digest of the tweets they might have missed.
Twitter is calling this option “Show me the best Tweets first,” and it will eventually become the default setting, at which time users will be able to opt out.
This is a lot like the “While you were away” feature that Twitter implemented January 2015. However, this is more integrated into your timeline. Tweets appear out of order, but their placement is the only thing that’s different. However, this feature is being implemented immediately, unlike the months-long rollout of “While you were away.”
The number and type of tweets shown are tailored to each individual user. If you follow lots of people who, say, write about technology, you’re going to see tweets related to tech. Fast Company reports that the average user will see about a dozen “best tweets,” at the top of the timeline, but that number isn’t set in stone.
To turn on the option, go to Settings on Twitter.com and under Timeline, click the little box next to “Show me the best Tweets first.”