Twitter is rolling out an optional timeline feature which displays the most popular tweets at the top instead of using the present chronological order.
Here the official explanation from the Twitter blog:
“Here's how it works. You flip on the feature in your settings; then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you're most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline – still recent and in reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always. At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new Tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love.”
The “best tweets” displayed on the user's timeline will be selected based on which accounts they interact with the most, what is trending on Twitter, the types of tweets that the user engages with and their personal interests.
Jeff Seibert, head of consumer product at Twitter explains that the new feature has been developed for users who frequently check their Twitter feed, and the “while you were away” is for those who haven't checked their feed for several hours.
“Our goal was to refine the product and make it absolutely delightful for our core users—the people for which Twitter plays a great role in their life—and if we're able to make it even more powerful for them they become our microphone,”
Seibert ensures that Twitter is not following in the footsteps of Facebook and reordering the timeline based on an algorithmic feed, and users will have the ability to enable or disable the feature from their account settings.