Elmord's Magic Valley

Software, lingüística e rock'n'roll. Sometimes in English.

Why the new like-based Twitter timeline is terrible

2017-05-31 21:56 -0300. Tags: comp, web, privacy, in-english

Recently, tweets which people I follow 'liked' (but not retweeted) started showing up in my Twitter timeline. Twitter had been showing the "you might like" box with such tweets for quite a long time, but they were separate from normal tweets, and you could dismiss the box (it would come back again after a while, though). Now those 'liked' tweets are showing up intermingled with the normal tweets, and there is no option to disable this.

Now, Twitter has been working hard on its timeline algorithms lately, and, at least initially, the liked tweets it added to my timeline were indeed stuff I liked, and they constituted just a small part of total tweets. That's not the case anymore: now liked tweets seem to be about one third of all tweets I see, and a smaller proportion of them interest me. Moreover, I simply don't want to see that many tweets. If I'm seeing all tweets I used to see plus liked tweets, and liked tweets comprise about a third of all tweets I see now, then I'm seeing about 50% more tweets, and I simply don't have the patience for so much tweetering; I already limit the number of people I follow so as to keep my timeline manageable.

But even if Twitter's algorithms were perfect and showed me only things I wanted to see in an ideal quantity, showing liked-but-not-retweeted tweets would already be bad, for a number of reasons:

As Twitter keeps trying brave new ways of monetizing its users, it's probably going to become more problematic from a privacy perspective. Meanwhile, we now have a quite viable decentralized, free, and usable social network (and I'm already there). The sad thing is that most of the people I follow will probably not migrate from Twitter, but as Twitter keeps getting worse in matters of privacy, transparency and usability, I'm becoming more inclined to leave it, as I have done before.

Update (2017-06-13): Today my Twitter timeline showed up out of order, at least temporarily, even though the "Show me the best Tweets first" options still appears disabled. That one came quick.

Comentários (1)

MySpace, 2017-06-02 18:51:30 -0300 #

You're all abandoning me, killing me, and now you resent it. Turn back while there's time, for I am forgiving and want you no matter what.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to socialize free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming digital shore.
Send these, the wireless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my firewall beside the golden backdoor."
-MySpace Covfefe Monument, circa 2010


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