Friday, March 11, 2022

Twitter Makes It Harder to Choose Reverse Chronological Timeline

Jay Peters:

The design change, which lets you swipe between your Home (algorithmically served) and Latest (reverse chronological) timelines, was announced Thursday. To set it up, you tap the sparkle icon in the top right corner, and you’ll see the option to pin your “Latest timeline,” and if you select that, you’ll see both “Home” and “Latest Tweets” tabs at the top of the iOS app. If you use pinned lists on the iOS app, the layout might look familiar.

To my great disappointment, however, I’ve found that after testing the feature, now I can’t make the chronological feed the default.

Andy Baio:

I thought Twitter gave up on force-feeding its Home timeline onto power users, but nope, it’s now impossible to avoid in their official iOS app. Restarting the app always defaults you to Home tab instead of Latest now, with no possible opt-out.

Cabel Sasser:

Beware that it’s coming to the desktop as well — as I seem to be in the A/B test — but fortunately, it seems to remember which one you had selected between browser restarts.

For now. Until some product manager throws a fit about needing higher engagement numbers for “Home”

Nick Heer:

If you enjoy switching between the two views regularly, this update is probably great. But if you prefer always seeing a timeline sorted by date, this over-engineered solution is probably not what you are looking for. Thankfully, Twitter’s latest API version is making third-party apps an even more compelling choice. For example, Tweetbot 7 includes a Statistics tab again because of these API updates.


Update (2022-03-16): John Gruber:

Fast forward to today, and here’s an update from Twitter Support:

We heard you –– some of you always want to see latest Tweets first. We’ve switched the timeline back and removed the tabbed experience for now while we explore other options.

I’d been playing around with this change on Twitter’s iPhone app all weekend, and I’m still confused.


First, I had no idea what the hell the “✨” button did before this. I didn’t even know it was a button. What a bizarre icon for the options to control the essential nature of how you view Twitter. Not to be too cynical, but it feels like this icon choice was driven by a desire to hide this option while maintaining plausible deniability that the option had been hidden. “It’s not hidden or buried in settings — it’s right there in the sparkle!” The whole thing felt like using a Twitter app in a bad dream where you can’t figure out how anything works.


I subscribe to Twitter Blue for $3/month and I really enjoy it — particularly the “Top Articles” feed, which shows the articles that were most shared over the last 24 hours by the people you follow. Not the top articles shared by people chosen by an algorithm — the top articles shared by people I chose to follow. It’s the main reason I check the official Twitter app regularly, and it’s a pretty decent replacement for Nuzzel, a dedicated app that Twitter acquired and shut down in May last year. They’ve also recently added a new “bookmarks” feature for tweets, which lets you collect tweets to refer back to later. You’ve always been able to use “likes/favorites” for this, but bookmarks allows you to save tweets without any of the social aspects inherent to “liking” something.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

Given that I left Twitter because of the algorithmic timeline in the first place, this seems like the other shoe dropping. Shame.

I can’t fathom how people tolerate using Twitter’s own app instead of Tweetbot or other alternatives. If the only option was to use the products that Twitter creates itself, I’d just give up Twitter.

Twitter interface is horrible. I just want it sorted with inverse chronological order. Newer messages on top. Always.

Still no news on their improved version of Nuzzel.

Yuck! Glad I still use Twitterrific. The Twitter web experience is always terrible anytime I click a link from somebody else.

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