Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Reassures Over #RIPTwitter Worries: Live Timeline Will Remain

Responding to concerns, Dorsey says Twitter loves the live stream and wants to refine it to be more live, not less.

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Finally, Twitter has responded to the concerns that its live timeline might be replaced by one where an algorithm chooses what to show. CEO Jack Dorsey has tweeted that the live timeline will remain, topped by a “While You Were Away” section.

From Dorsey’s series of tweets:

Dorsey’s response came after BuzzFeed reported yesterday that an “algorithmic” timeline would be appearing in the coming days, one where tweets would be sorted similar to Facebook, where a computer program tries to decide what to show.

Twitter hadn’t commented on that, though many believed that something like this might show and might appear as an option, rather than a default change. Still, many worried on Twitter that it would become a permanent default change. That caused the #RIPTwitter hashtag to trend, as users protested, including some celebrities on Twitter.

What’s confusing is that the “While You Were Away” feature he describes exists already — and has been there for over a year.


Perhaps his mention of this feature was meant as a reminder, but that seems odd. Rather, it felt more like a hint that “While You Were Away” or something similar might appear on a more consistent and regular basis, with the reassurance being that if people don’t like it, a simple pull-down will make it disappear.

Possibly, it could be that While You Were Away might be combined with ads showing up more in that area. I’ve never noticed Twitter ads in that spot. Making the section appear more often — and with ads — might give Twitter a revenue bump that it seeks.

Postscript: Over at The Verge, Casey Newton writes about how the new timeline might work. This seems based on reports from people who’ve been part of a test group with non-chronological timelines for about a month.

In short, if you’ve been away from Twitter for some set period of time, you’re likely to see top tweets inserted into your main timeline, not just at the top but perhaps elsewhere, as well. If you pull to refresh, they’d go away. And this behavior, The Verge says it’s confirmed, would be the default with an opt-out for those who don’t like it.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Danny Sullivan
Danny Sullivan was a journalist and analyst who covered the digital and search marketing space from 1996 through 2017. He was also a cofounder of Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land, MarTech, and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo and MarTech events. He retired from journalism and Third Door Media in June 2017. You can learn more about him on his personal site & blog He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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