Twitter & Instagram’s Algorithm Updates Present Opportunity Not Problems

April 22, 2016
Algorithm - opportunity not problem

Twitter has revealed that since it’s switched over its “new improved” timeline, it’s seen “very few” people choosing to opt out of having the top tweets shown first. “It’s in the low single digits,” a Twitter spokesperson told Marketing Land, referring to the percentage of overall Twitter users.

The initial reaction to Twitter announcing that it was to introduce the "show me the best tweets first" algorithm suggested that users might not only opt out of the changes, but opt out of Twitter altogether.

However, Twitter’s admission to Marketing Land that most users have chosen to keep the new timeline seem to indicate that the social giant was right to press ahead with the changes in spite of the apparent resistance.

In addition to the low number of opt-outs, Twitter also says it’s seeing “positive increases” in other metrics such as Daily Usage, Per User Favorites, Per User Retweets, Per User Replies and Per User Tweets.

If Twitter continues to see users opting to keep the new timeline – the comments were made only a day after it completed its rollout, after all – it adds further fuel to the fire that firms should be taking a ‘quality over quantity’ approach to content and social media marketing.

As per Twitter’s new algorithm, you can make tens or hundreds of posts over the course of the day, but if they’re not getting shared or engaged with, they’ll sink to the bottom of your followers’ timelines.

Instagram has also just updated its news feed algorithm, meaning posts no longer appear in chronological order and instead are sorted “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post.”

The changes could make life harder for the smaller brands, as it has done on Facebook, but then again, Twitter and Instagram’s comments imply that as long as we continue to create relevant and enduring posts, we stand a good chance of appearing high up in users’ timelines.

So, we can sit bemoaning the changes, or we can get a strategy in place to offset them – I know what we’ll be doing.

Kevin Mason - Director