Now that users can opt-out of the algo­rithm, the ques­tion for adver­tis­ers will be how it impacts their vis­i­bil­i­ty on the plat­form.

In 2016, Twit­ter changed its algo­rithm so that the time­line would dis­play tweets it deter­mined were most rel­e­vant based on a user’s actions. On Mon­day, the com­pa­ny announced it would soon be giv­ing users the option to go back to a time­line that dis­played tweets in reverse chrono­log­i­cal order.

The ques­tion for adver­tis­ers is whether or not users will remain engaged with con­tent on the plat­form as they opt out of Twitter’s algo­rithm that shows con­tent it has deter­mined most rel­e­vant.

What hap­pened? In 2016, Twit­ter made the deci­sion that it knew best what users want­ed to see in their time­lines. The com­pa­ny changed its time­line algo­rithm to dis­play rel­e­vant tweets based on a user’s inter­ac­tions on the app, launch­ing the “Show your best Tweets first” option in a user’s account set­tings page. The update includ­ed fea­tures like “In case you missed it” that list­ed past tweets the user had not viewed yet, and rec­om­mend­ed tweets from peo­ple a user didn’t fol­low.

On Mon­day, Twit­ter announced via its @TwitterSupport han­dle that it was updat­ing the “Show the best Tweets first” set­ting so that when it was turned off, the user would only see tweets from fol­lowed accounts dis­played in reverse chrono­log­i­cal order. Pre­vi­ous­ly, when the set­ting was turned off, Twit­ter would still dis­play missed tweets, tweets from rec­om­mend­ed accounts and a not exact­ly “pure” chrono­log­i­cal time­line.

Twit­ter said its goal has always been to “bal­ance show­ing you the most recent Tweets with the best Tweets you’re like­ly to care about, but we don’t always get this bal­ance right.”

How did peo­ple take it? Back when Twit­ter com­plet­ed the full roll­out of its algo­rithm changes, it report­ed less than 10 per­cent of users had cho­sen to opt out of the new time­line. But based on the company’s tweet thread announc­ing its lat­est updates, Twit­ter received enough crit­i­cism about its time­line that it has made time to offer users the option to return to a chrono­log­i­cal feed.

Why you should care. The catch for adver­tis­ers is that Twit­ter has long claimed the algo­rithm it start­ed using in 2016 dis­play­ing the most rel­e­vant tweets first cre­at­ed more engage­ment, and that users who opt­ed in to the “Show best Tweets first” time­line tend­ed to be more active on the app.

Deliv­er­ing a more rel­e­vant feed that kept users logged on and active would obvi­ous­ly result in Twit­ter deliv­er­ing a more engaged audi­ence to brands and adver­tis­ers. Now that users have the option to go back to a chrono­log­i­cal time­line, the ques­tion is whether or not changes in user behav­ior will impact how brands and adver­tis­ers per­form on the plat­form.

FWIW. Twitter’s ad tar­get­ing fil­ters and ad units will not be direct­ly affect­ed by this time­line change. Adver­tis­ers and brands will still have the same capa­bil­i­ties when build­ing out cam­paigns and putting togeth­er their mar­ket­ing efforts on the app.

What will be impact­ed are organ­ic posts from brands and mar­keters. If Twit­ter has deemed a brand’s tweets more rel­e­vant for a user, and that user switch­es to a chrono­log­i­cal time­line, then there’s a chance the organ­ic post from that brand may not be read­i­ly sur­faced for the user. Of course, if Twitter’s “Show best Tweets first” time­line failed to pri­or­i­tize organ­ic tweets from brands, there’s a chance users will be more like­ly to see them when view­ing their time­line chrono­log­i­cal­ly.

SOURCE