Twitter's Algorithmic 'For You' Feed Becomes Default Timeline on iOS

Twitter has made the algorithmic "For You" timeline the default feed that users see when they open the iOS app, a controversial change that the company has tried previously before rolling it back due to a pronounced backlash.

Twitter Feature
In a change that is sure to draw the ire of some users, Twitter has removed the sparkle-shaped icon from the top-right of the app's interface that let users switch between "For You" and "Latest" and replaced it with two tabs called "For You" and "Following."

"For You" still shows users tweets from people they follow out of order, sprinkled with algorithmically suggested tweets from people they don't, while "Following" shows tweets in pure reverse chronological order.

While the change technically makes it easier to switch timelines – users can now just swipe between them instead of tapping the star icon – users on iOS will now always see the algorithmic "For You" tab when opening the app, whether they want to or not.

following for you twitter

Image credit: Jesse Kramer

Another notable result of the change is that people who use pinned lists for alternative timelines will now need to perform more swipes to get to those lists.

The move comes after CEO Elon Musk last month tweeted that the "main timeline should allow for an easy sideways swipe between top, latest, trending, and topics you follow," and said that the company would be making the changes soon. As of writing though, there are no options to swipe to trending or followed topics, while the old star button still exists on Android and the web.

Twitter originally used a reverse chronological feed, showing the newest tweets at the top of the app, before it switched to a timeline that placed a selection of top tweets first. That caused consternation among users, and Twitter eventually added the option to switch back to the pure chronological timeline.

As many will undoubtedly observe, Twitter's decision to prioritize its algorithmic timeline now makes it more akin to the way TikTok works. TikTok learns what users tend to view and pushes them to more of the same suggested content with a similar "For You" feed, which boosts engagement. Whether Twitter's algorithms will have the same success rate remains to be seen.

Tag: Twitter

Top Rated Comments

Dredd67 Avatar
18 months ago
TikTok, Twitter and all the other so-called social networks are such a disaster in the making. This is so bad, people don't even have the brain cells anymore to realize what these platforms have done to our society.

Siloing people to the point they can't even communicate properly with others, boosting engagement with reward mechanics so much it becomes an addiction, serving curated content that only pleases the reader so they end up denying simple facts and the reality, chronic depression, sexuality disorders, self-confidence crushed (everyone seems to live a better life than me), attention span reduced to that of a goldfish...

This is becoming more and more like a Clockwork Orange dystopia. The only difference is it comes with the consent of the public.

Even the ones driving these monsters have become slaves to their own product.

I'm sorry for the rant, but I'm tired seeing news like that. The issue here is not the homepage of the Twitter app. It's Twitter itself.

As long as people do not realize we would all live so much better without these tools, things will continue to worsen. Public infrastructures desecrated by mobs, unique art pieces destroyed forever, violence and abuses, trust issues with your loved ones up to the people you elected... It's that bad. And all these issues can be rooted in the mob mentality, poor culture, disinformation, misunderstandings and hate incitation driven by these networks. Why? Because that's the optimal way to increase engagement which turns into money, the sole and unique metric used to evaluate the benefit of these "social" platforms.

I'll close this rant by saying just this: we're running out of time. I'm from last generation before the digital natives, but soon there won't be anyone anymore who knows a world without this cancer has existed and it was much happier.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
18 months ago
The worst decision. The whole point of following people is to see the things of people YOU decided to follow. Idiots but what am I complaining, first I started to use Tweetbot (which does not have all this nonsense anyway) before closing my account recently all together.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Porco Avatar
18 months ago
For brevity perhaps they should just shorten it to ‘F You’, which is what it feels like they mean anyway.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
andrewxgx Avatar
18 months ago
whats the point of following people when in the end you only see what twitter wants you to see?

same for ig as well
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
18 months ago
Users made it clear they didn't want this. Elon didn't care. So he's trollling his users. So cute.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Paradoxally Avatar
18 months ago
Time to delete Twitter and move to Mastodon.

Twitter has been terrible for years, Elon just accelerated the process.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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