Twitter CFO hints site may follow in Facebook's footsteps and give top content timeline prominence

A Twitter executive has hinted that the social network may tinker with its content delivery system to bring relevant, instead of recent tweets, to users, in a move whihc could see feeds become more like the Facebook timeline.

Speaking at the Citi Global Technology Conference in New York, Anthony Noto, chief financial officer of Twitter, outlined steps the social network may take to ensure product growth.

He said: “If you think about our search capabilities we have a great data set of topical information about topical tweets.

“The hierarchy within search really has to lend itself to that taxonomy. [Following that we need] an algorithm that delivers the depth and breadth of the content we have on a specific topic and then eventually as it relates to people.”

Twitter’s timeline has remained largely unchanged in the eight years since its launch, with the exception of the promoted tweets feature which was implemented last month, to add content from unfollowed sources onto the timeline.

Noto said that having the most recent tweets at the top of the timeline “isn’t the most relevant experience for a user”, complaining that quality content can get lost at the bottom of the Twitter feed.

He added: “Putting that content in front of the person at that moment in time is a way to organise that content better.”

The executive aimed to put users at ease stating that any changes to the site will be small and gradual, if implemented at all: “Individual users are not going to wake up one day and find their timeline completely ranked by an algorithm.”

Twitter CEO Dick Costollo first announced that the firm was experimenting with displaying users’ top tweets to increase the site’s content, in July.

 

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