A couple of days ago, we speculated that Twitter might just be toying with us/playing a prank/having a momentary aberration in its decision to treat favourites like retweets for some users. But the company has now confirmed its new policy, which means we should all brace ourselves for the change.
Their updated support page says that user timelines consist of tweets from (or retweeted by) people you follow, as well as tweets they think you’ll find interesting, based on how popular they are among your network. It’s clearly aimed at improving engagement, whether we want to be engaged or not. It’s good to know there’s a reasoning behind this, but it’s depressing how little control we now have over what we see in the feeds we’ve so carefully curated (sure, the rise in promoted tweets was annoying, but the mute function had been making life blissful).
As Mashable points out, this makes Twitter more like Facebook, which show us ads and suggested posts and all kinds of guff. But as they also point out, while most people moan about these kinds of changes (seriously, do any users actually like this idea?), we usually continue using the site regardless, so it’s unlikely there’ll be some mass exodus to Instagram.
Who knows, in time we may all grow to love or at least accept this change. But I suspect many of us will be favouriting a lot less from now on, and praying the people we follow do the same.
Image via Andreas Eldh’s Flickr.