A few days after potential Twitter owner Elon Musk suggested that Twitter users switch their accounts to the latest tweet feed instead of the algorithm-generated one, the billionaire entrepreneur revisited the microblogging platform on Sunday to take advice to repeat. And also explain how to do it.
By default, Twitter displays the algorithm-generated home page feed, which shows tweets that Twitter thinks you’ll find most interesting based on your previous interaction with the app. Content can be tweets from people you don’t follow (beyond retweets), such as B. viral tweets and tweets linked to specific topics in which you have shown interest.
However, it is also possible to change the feed so that tweets are displayed in reverse chronological order. This will also reduce the amount of content on your timeline from accounts you don’t follow.
Musk said he believes the algorithm is manipulating users “in ways you don’t realize,” prompting him to pin a tweet to his account on Sunday explaining to his 93 million followers how to get the latest ones instead can view tweets.
Very important to fix your twitter feed:
1. Tap on the home button.
2. Tap the stars at the top right of the screen.
3. Select “Recent Tweets”.
You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don’t realize.
Just switch back & forth to see the difference.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2022
Musk, who recently took steps to acquire Twitter for $44 billion, said last week that the latest tweets “appear much better than what the algorithm is suggesting.”
His comments prompted Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey to champion the algorithm-generated feed, noting that it’s “good at uncovering things you’d otherwise miss if you weren’t scrolling,” and adding that the Latest Tweets feed is “best for live and breaking events.”
Dorsey chimed in again on Sunday, tweeting to Musk that the algorithm-generated feed was “simply meant to save you time when you’ve been away from the app for a while.”
Musk later replied, “I’m not suggesting any malice in the algorithm, rather that it tries to guess what you might want to read, accidentally manipulating/amplifying your viewpoints without you realizing it’s happening,” before adding, ” Not to mention potential bugs in the code. Open source is the right way to solve both trust and efficiency.”
Dorsey replied to another user that the feed generated by the algorithm “was not intended for manipulation. It’s designed to catch you up and work off what you’re on,” although he conceded that it “definitely can have unintended consequences, so there should be a choice about whether or not to use an algorithm, and what algorithm. ”
Twitter retired the Latest Tweets feed in 2016, but calls from within the community to bring it back prompted the company to reintroduce it a few years later. It’s possible that Twitter’s own research found that the algorithm-generated feed increased user engagement on the platform, prompting Twitter to make it the default option so it could charge advertisers more. Musk has indicated that he wants to move Twitter away from its current ad-based model in favor of other forms of revenue, which could include charging a small fee for commercial and government accounts.
Musk’s offer to take over Twitter seems far from a done deal. Last week he said he was putting the process on hold pending a review of the fake/spam account details associated with the service.
Post-review, the offering also faces a number of regulatory hurdles. But if Musk takes over, he may try to make the latest tweets feed the default option. This is certainly a turbulent time for the platform, as some longtime users fear what could become of Twitter if the deal goes through.
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