Celebrities Tweeting #RIPTwitter Against Twitter Timeline Change
William Shatner, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Rob Lowe are among those who want Twitter to leave the live timeline alone.
It’s not just rank-and-file Twitter users that are concerned that Twitter might change its timeline from a live chronological view to a algorithmic one. Celebrities on Twitter are raising their voices, too.
Star Trek star William Shatner doesn’t want Twitter to boldly go this way:
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) February 6, 2016
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is going to rise up, if it happens:
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) February 6, 2016
Actor Rowe Lowe is literally upset over the idea:
One of the great rewards of being an adult is deciding ON YOUR OWN who (and what) you should be interested in. #RIPTwitter
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) February 6, 2016
Comedian and My Drunk Kitchen creator Hannah Hart wants space and time left alone on Twitter:
Dear Twitter, Stop messing with the time space continuum. Love, God #RIPTwitter
— Hannah Hart (@harto) February 6, 2016
Ironically, a Twitter timeline that is algorithmically based would make it easier to find tweets from major celebrities and influencers like this. Right now, to locate these on Twitter, you’d have to do a search for the hashtag and hope that Twitter lists some of them as top tweets — which it doesn’t. Yes, there’s a dedicated top tweets screen. But the relevancy is awful.
Instead, to find them, I used TweetDeck and filtered to verified users who had tweets above 100, 250 and 500 retweets, like this:
An algorithmic timeline would mean anyone using Twitter could easily spot some of the most popular tweets on a particular topic or from those they follow without doing any of this work. That would be a good thing.
Of course, it would be a good thing only if it’s an optional thing, in my view. Making it a default setting risks destroying the live nature of Twitter that attracts so many great tweets in the first place.
It seems likely that it will be that the change is an option, not a default change. For more on that, as well as thoughts on how algorithmic Twitter could live alongside live Twitter, see my previous post: #RIPTwitter Trends Over Worries Twitter Will Drop Live Timeline.
Postscript: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has now commented to reassure that live timelines are not going away. See our story: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Reassures Over #RIPTwitter Worries: Live Timeline Will Remain.