/ / / Relevancy over Recency: Twitter’s New Algorithm

Relevancy over Recency: Twitter’s New Algorithm

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As a recent overhaul, Twitter’s algorithm now rewards better content – whether organic or paid – rather than recent content on the timeline.
We’ve known for a long time that Twitter were going to have to move with the times in regards to their timeline, and now they have begun to roll out a new version after what appears to be a whole year of testing. So how does it work exactly?
Twitter’s timeline curations now ensure that most of the content posted on the site is equal, but it’ll now surface the most relevant tweets to users when they are first logging in or visiting the site.

This was a controversial move – with some users heralding this as ‘the end of Twitter’ – however the platform took this step to acknowledge the fact that users love the real-time nature of the platform but they can also miss discussions that they would find important. This new algorithm will now ensure that tweets from brands, celebrities, politicians and other public figures will appear at the top of the platform so that users can see these and jump into the topics that are driving the trending tweets and hottest discussions on the platform.

Does this all sound familiar? It’s because it is. This new algorithm is simply the extended version of the ‘While you were away’ feature that was released prior to this.

It doesn’t mean that Twitter is reducing the importance of ‘real time’ tweets, but simply will consider the ‘best tweets’ available for users and serve them these based on a number of metrics: such as the accounts they are following, the tweets that they’ve chosen to like or retweet, or the activity of users that would be considered ‘similar’ to them.

Whilst many Twitter users are concerned that Twitter is becoming too much like Facebook in this respect, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has ensured users that this is not the case and that the new algorithm change is simply the “fastest way to get back to live without missing any of those tweets that you really wanted to see”.

So what does this mean for your brand?

Well, whilst no one really knows without the relevant experimentation. Some users state that this move will work wonders for brands with highly engaged social followings – as engagement appears to be key for securing a high reach with the new algorithm.
However, there is some concern due to the familiarity of the model with Facebook’s version, that brands will not benefit from an increase in organic reach and that they will instead be required more and more to pay money to secure those ‘best tweet’ spots on user timelines.

As with any of these algorithm changes, the key message remains that content is key. The strongest content, whether paid or organic, whether on the old algorithm or new, will stand out to the audience. Instead of worrying about the algorithm changes, consider working with your existing social strategy to create the most relevant, engaging content possible for your audience to enjoy.

Follow Shauna Madden:

Shauna is the Head of Content for Social Heroes. She has spent several years spearheading PR campaigns for giant companies in the North of the UK with incredible results.