The hated Facebook “Top Stories” feed is coming to Twitter



One of the best features of Twitter may be coming to an end. Recent remarks from people at Twitter point to a new filtered feed for tweets. Twitter’s CEO would not rule out such a change when asked about it earlier this year. Now recent comments from Twitter CFO Anthony Noto have made the idea seem inevitable.

As you know, the Twitter timeline is organized in reverse chronological order. The newest tweets are always at the top of your feed. This has been a core feature of the service since day one, but it sounds like a change is coming.

Noto says “[this] isn’t the most relevant experience for a user.” Important tweets can get buried at the bottom if the user doesn’t check often enough. “Putting that content in front of the person at that moment in time is a way to organize that content better.”

Curated social feeds are not a new thing. Facebook has been doing this for a while with their despised “Top Stories” feed. They’ve even made “Top Stories” the default view in their mobile apps. Just check the reviews in the Play Store to see how users feel about that (it’s not good). With this in mind we have to wonder why Twitter would adopt a similar feature. Breaking news and live tweets are a core component of what makes Twitter so great.

Twitter has already been changing the way you view your feed. Sponsored tweets, favorites, and even tweets from people you don’t follow have been creeping in. The more Twitter dilutes the feed the more they push users away. I don’t need Twitter to curate what I see in my feed. That’s my job.

How would you feel about a Facebook-style feed on Twitter? Would you stop using Twitter? Do you even use Twitter now?

[via WSJ]

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. Crazy, Twitter has been my go to app for things BECAUSE FB and G+ have that idiotic top story/Hot news filter crap. I binge my feeds when I can, which means I might only check them twice a day, hence why I miss a ton from my friends and stories I might actually care about. If Twitter goes this route, because of the nature of their in the moment accounts of what’s actually happening in the world, I would suspect that there might have to be a real static way to prevent a top story filter being the default. I hope so anyway.

  2. As long as third-party Twitter apps show me feed in chronological order, I don’t give a fig about their official app. Never used it since I signed up for a Twitter account.

    1. I would agree with you, but Twitter has also made changes that hurt 3rd-party apps.

      1. True, they tried to bring their official app upfront by imposing all sort of limits for third-party apps. Despite all that, I’m pretty sure most mobile users rely on a third-party app.

        1. Am I the only one that really doesn’t understand why Twitter is so greedy when it comes to third party apps? Whats the deal? Facebook don’t try and deny other people of making third party Facebook apps.

          1. I think the major difference is 3rd party Facebook apps are worse than the official one (at least the ones I’ve tried), while 3rd party Twitter apps are way better than the official. Twitter sees them as a threat.

          2. When I used to use Facebook I found a couple that were way better then the official app.

  3. @Twitter It’s not broke so why try and fix it? Just leave it alone FFS.

  4. Always remember, whatever FB is doing now is what Twitter will be doing in 3-12 months. They just slavishly ape whatever FB’s doing (unless it’s an obvious failure).

  5. It’s “despised”, it’s “not good” – even on Facebook, and it’s been so for ever. Why FB still have it is a mystery in itself in my opinion; why anyone would copy it when obviously a greater part of users hate it, well… that just baffles me. -_-

  6. I’ve never had much use for Twitter. It seems like its two uses are either A) Following celebrities or B) Broadcasting every opinion that comes to your head because you’re desperate for attention.

    A while back I did mess with Twitter a bit because I thought it might be useful for receiving updates and announcements from various developers. But the thing is, I don’t really give a crap about what they’re eating, where they’re traveling to, or who they meet. And so, it just looked like a waste of time for me.

    1. Hey, Disqus is finally having a discussion on the role of downvotes. Since you’ve expressed an opinion on the subject before, I was wondering if you’d be interested in putting in your 2¢ worth? Here’s the link:

  7. Guess Twitter is heading down hill next for me.

  8. The only thing I use Twitter for is posting on crappy news blogs………

  9. Foursquare messed up by making users have to use Swarm, I deleted that app and no longer use it. Then Facebook with top stories only on Mobile makes me use it less, if Twitter keeps messing up and fixing things that are not broke, I will slow my usage if not delete it entirely. What is wrong with these developers? SMH

  10. Someone needs to create a suitable Facebook and/or Twitter replacement for those of us paying attention closely enough to notice these types of changes, or is that called Google+?

  11. I have zero interest in the imposition of this “feature” for no good reason. I agree with the author: I’m a grown-a$$ adult. I can curate my own feed. Seriously, I’m good. But thanks for playing.

    I just joined Twitter,but I’m seriously starting to have 2nd thoughts fur to these lame ideas, the treatment of 3rd party devs, and the level of discourse. I’ve been following some (nationally known) tech writers and have been disappointed that they have very little to say of interest on tech issues. Maybe they are saving it all for Google+…

    1. Damned autocorrect! “Fur” should be “due.”. Can’t edit, unfortunately.

  12. “Sponsored tweets, favorites, and even tweets from people you don’t follow have been creeping in.”

    I think it’s essentially for making them more money. I really hate that the recent top tweet:

    “___ is following X

    Useless tweet I don’t care about because I DON’T FOLLOW X”

  13. Ditched facebook and trying twitter and now their gone and screwed it up, it was one thing I liked bye twitter.

  14. I can’t stand the “top stories” Facebook feed. My top stories are not the same as Zuke’s and the same will be true with Twitter! Give me a top stories tab and I’ll check it but don’t screw up the live,happening now Twitter feed! @mtmcelvy

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