Fixing Twitter: What does the new Algorithm Mean for Twitter Chats?

Posted on March 29, 2016 by

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Over on my possibilities blog, I responded to rumors a few weeks back under the banner “How to Fix Twitter” .. exploring the buzz and implications of a possible new Twitter Algorithm.

Leaks from Twitter insiders had let on there’d be a change in the flow of tweets in your regular Twitter content stream. Twitter was at first non-committal. “We never intended to launch something this weekend .. ” to paraphrase the tweet from CEO @Jack (Dorsey).

Now, of course, that rumor is reality. And it’s left many of us scratching our heads on what it means to engagement via Twitter, and most notably, the Twitter Chat itself. By default, you get the algorithm. You can turn if off. But that begs the question for many: “What do I do?” Twitter says their new algorithm will put the best, most valuable tweets at the top of your feed. It decides this based on logic that we don’t fully understand, though it promises to be relevant, and thus, more interesting.

If it’s true, that might be a win for casual surfing. The user experience (or “UX”) across all of Twitter might, on average, get better. But would this not make conversation via Twitter more difficult? Here are questions I think we need to try to answer early on:

  • Q1. Do you see value in an algorithm that elevates the ‘best’ content?
  • Q2. Could a push of older content break the flow of chat?
  • Q3. What have you seen in the first few weeks?
  • Q4. What steps have you taken to test the impact & keep chat going?
  • Q5. What might Twitter do proactively to ensure chat capabilities are protected or improved?
  • Q6. Twitter has played it’s hand. What happens next?

Let’s leave the stone throwing and negativity to others. Instead, we’ll aim to tap the insights of the #smchat community base to develop some initial perspective on WEDS 3/30 at 1pm ET. From there, perhaps it’s tweet and see. Personaly, I’m hopeful we can learn & adapt, to keep the chat experience dynamic and exciting.

Of course, a little help from Twitter would go a long way.

Keep us posted in the weeks ahead, and we’ll do the same, using #algorithm #twitterchange .. and of course #smchat.

Chris aka @sourcepov

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Posted in: Social media, Trends