Twitter has started ranking tweets by quality, here’s how to turn it off

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After its fourth quarter earnings call yesterday, Twitter began rolling out an algorithmic timeline.

According to Twitter the new timeline will show users tweets from accounts they are more likely to care about, to be more specific, accounts that they engage with regularly.

That all sounds fine until Twitter announces that it will start showing you tweets from accounts you don’t follow. “Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline”, said the firm in a post about the new Twitter timeline.

Essentially what this sounds like is a gussied up version of the “While You Were Gone” feature that Twitter introduced quite some time ago.

This, of course, means that there is potential for advertisers to increase the reach of promoted tweets, though these tweets will need to be more engaging to reach the top of a timeline.

Twitter Vice President of Revenue Product, Ameet Ranadive, told Adweek that the new timeline would not affect the current advertising model and that advertisers would not be able to buy their way to the top of timelines.

Money, money, money

The micro-blogging site has reported revenue of $710 million which represents a growth of 90% in Q4 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. Twitter also reports that net losses shrunk by 27%.

Unfortunately for Twitter the shift to an algorithmic timeline comes as the company reports a decline in the number of monthly active users.

The fall from 307 million monthly active users to 305 million is relatively small but it’s still something that Twitter hopes to address. “We are going to fix the broken windows and confusing parts, like the [email protected] syntax and @reply rules, that we know inhibit usage and drive people away,” Twitter said in a report on The Verge.

The new timeline has just started rolling out and if you want to test it just follow the steps below for the platform you’re using Twitter on.


  1. Head to Settings
  2. Under Content look for Timeline and tick the box to switch the Show me the best Tweets first on or remove the tick to switch it off


  1. In your profile tap the gear icon and select Settings
  2. Select which account you would like to adjust settings for
  3. Under Timeline tap Timeline personalisation
  4. Tap Show me the best Tweets first to turn the feature on or off


  1. Tap the overflow icon (this is the one with the three dots right at the top of Twitter)
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Timeline
  4. Tap the Show me the best Tweets first to turn the feature on or off

Will you be using the new timeline or would you prefer things stay the way they are? Let us know in the comments or send us a tweet.

[Image – CC BY/2.0 keiyac]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.