Best Tweets: Twitter adds method to the noise
Twitter has released its first official algorithm announcement, termed Best Tweets. It’s caused quite a stir, so here’s the low-down on how it works and what it does.
Best Tweets are available across the web version of Twitter and both the iOS and Android apps. The feature is currently available as an option to switch on and off, entitled show me the best tweets first—and it will roll out as a default setting within a few weeks. You’ll still be able to toggle the feature on and off from within your settings menu.
When a user opens the app, Twitter will select what it thinks are the most important tweets and show these at the top of the timeline. The number and type of tweet depends on the user’s behaviour, how long they have been away and how often they tweet.
The reverse chronological tweets then appear beneath the best, so to speak.
Cynics have blasted Twitter, arguing that this is just a deceptive way of serving more ads at the top of a user’s feed. Twitter says that in testing, the feature encouraged more users to tweet and retweet posts. This doesn’t necessarily answer the question as to whether the engaging content is or isn’t promoted.
Predictably, Twitter hasn’t revealed the so-called ‘recipe’ to the algorithm, but speculation is that the best is selected based on tweet engagements. If this is true, only quality promoted content will make it into best tweets, thereby doing away with any need for cynicism.
How can brands capitalise on this new feature? Moreso than ever, it’s about standing in the shoes of your followers and tweeting about that irresistible offer, release or piece of insight. Don’t be scared of hashtags, where relevant: they do drive volume and visibility. A little money behind that tweet won’t hurt, either.
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