Twitter will now show tweets from users you don’t follow

Get ready for a more cluttered timeline on Twitter.

Following outrage from users who were seeing tweets favourited by accounts they follow, in their own timelines, the social networking giant has officially listed the change on its help pages.

Twitter has redefined the definition of ‘timeline’ to include tweets that Twitter finds popular or relevant to the user. Twitter will select those tweets on the basis of its popularity and interaction among people in the user’s network. Twitter already displays ads and retweets.

According to Twitter’s updated help document, the network aims to make the timeline more relevant and interesting.

“When we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting,” says the document.

A number of users had expressed their displeasure after Twitter started experimenting with the feature, last week. The reason behind this resistance is that the ‘favorite’ feature is not as widely used by users. The feature is treated as a simple acknowledgment of receiving a tweet or as a way of saying ‘thanks.’It’s also a simple way of saying that a user found something funny. Many users also use it as a type of bookmarking system.

With the wider implementation of this change Twitter is going the Facebook way, tinkering with the users’ timeline using its own algorithm, forcing them to see content they may not wish to see. Clearly, Twitter aims to increase engagement and this may also give a new direction to the use of the network by brands.