Twitter is experimenting with a new feature on the timeline, however users don’t appear to be best pleased with it so far. This latest tweak is to do with Favourites, and it essentially treats them in a similar way to retweets, as far as the main timeline is concerned.
Users have now reported seeing tweets in their timeline that users they follow have favourited, or further separated still, popular tweets from accounts that other users follow.
Twitter filling my feed with stuff I didn't ask for - stuff other people follow and fav. http://t.co/IVOViGF1QW—
Peter Kafka (@pkafka) August 17, 2014
As the example above shows, Peter Kafka is seeing content on his timeline that he didn’t ask for, but is being shown purely on the basis of other users’ actions, while TheNextWeb’s Martin Bryant captured a much more ironic example of Twitter’s latest feature experiment:
Martin Bryant (@MartinSFP) August 17, 2014
The new feature – if implemented across the board – might change the way we use Favourites. Retweets are an intentional act of broadcasting other users’ content to your own followers, whereas Favourites are a way of marking things for your own personal reflection or posterity. When the things you mark for later attention are broadcast to your followers it puts an entirely different spin on things, as people researching topics will often favourite tweets/links to content that are completely against their beliefs or position.
With social networks most changes to the norm are generally met with a certain degree of discontent or mistrust, and this latest experiment from Twitter appears to be no different. While the company is yet to comment on the most recent changes, it did release a statement last year that does provide an overview on how Twitter goes about conducting its product experiments.
Have you experienced any of Twitter’s feature experiments? What are your thoughts on seeing other people’s favourited tweets in your timeline? Leave a comment below with your views.