Twitter's new timeline?
Saturday, February 6, 2016 by Dave Winer

Overnight someone at Twitter leaked the upcoming changes to the Twitter timeline. This almost certainly was a leak-from-the-top, given that it happened on a Friday night, long after the market closed. 

Update: Jack says it ain't so!

Yes, it would be suicide for Twitter to change the timeline for existing users. What they probably will do is offer a setting. Do you want the classic timeline or the new SMART timeline?

For existing users it will default off. We get the same timeline as before, the While You Were Out feature notwithstanding (an example of when they changed the timeline quietly without any fanfare without an opt-in or out). 

For new users, and existing users who haven't logged in recently, or don't follow many people, it will default on. 

I don't think it's terrible or the end of the world. Life in a silo where you and I are the product. McDonald's doesn't ask the chickens whether they like the options for Chicken McNuggets. A similar thing. The main difference is the chicken probably couldn't say. Humans have opinions, feel disempowered, not heard, not loved, bored, and we like to be consulted. A good shitstorm provides temporary relief for all these ills. So for a while, venting, then life goes back to the normal humdrum. 


Would it hurt Twitter to add some features for users? Ones that just make us feel cared-for and whose loyalty is valued? Long-standing lackings in the product, addressed, finally? (I'm trying to talk like Sarah Palin, howamidoing?)

  1. I for one would love to have the ability to delete a message in my Notifications panel. Someone leaves a turd. I'd just like to delete it, so I don't have to see it repeatedly. It's really time for this little feature. It can't be that hard to add.
  2. How about unfollow-with-timeout? I'd like to unfollow someone for a few days, or a week or two, maybe. They're live-tweeting a conference I don't care about. Why should they feel compelled not to do it, and why should I have to endure the chatter. If I could unfollow them knowing they would return to my timeline eventually, I could keep them as a source, and not have to put up with the barrage of (to me) nonsense. 
  3. And btw, the Mute command is great but it often doesn't work. And it would be nice if it were retroactive. 

I guess the point is this. Twitter seems to only do new features that try to dig them out of their business hole. I don't mind if they do that. I am a shareholder, after all. But since they have a monopoly on Twitter services, it would be nice if they also added features for the users. They shouldn't assume we will always be without a choice. It's a good thing to do for your product and company, to keep the users/product happy. 

  • If you'd consider another client, Tweetbot solves (2) and (3) nicely.

    • I'm spread too thin to allow another piece of software into the mix. Also I hear people complaining about how it's not getting updated? Not sure. ;-)

      • It's getting updated. They've had a flurry of updates over the past couple of weeks. Honestly, I wouldn't be nearly as engaged on Twitter as I am if it weren't for Tweetbot. Whether that's a good thing or not changes based on who you ask. Heh heh heh.