Twitter has finally resolved an issue that has been annoying its users for years. Tweets used to be presented in purely chronological order, with the newest at the top. But then Twitter decided to start ranking tweets according to its own algorithms.
In September 2018, Twitter promised to bring back the chronological timeline. Since then, the social network has been working on a way of letting users switch between a chronological timeline and a algorithmically ranked timeline. And it’s finally ready.
Twitter Launches the “Sparkle”
Twitter now offers a digital switch allowing users to swap between a chronological timeline and a ranked timeline. The chronological timeline shows every tweet from the people you follow in reverse order, while the ranked timeline places selected tweets higher.
You can switch between the two using what Twitter calls the “sparkle”. This is a sparkly icon that sits in the top right of your screen above your timeline. Individual users can click this at will to switch between a chronological timeline and a ranked timeline.
New on iOS! Starting today, you can tap ? to switch between the latest and top Tweets in your timeline. Coming soon to Android. pic.twitter.com/6B9OQG391S
— Twitter (@Twitter) December 18, 2018
Twitter is still treating the ranked timeline as the default option, referring to that as “Home”. The chronological timeline is being treated as the alternative option, but as long as it’s an option open to all users, we’re not going to complain.
The “sparkle” is rolling out on iOS first, with Twitter promising it will be coming to other platforms, including Android, over the coming weeks. So if you can’t see the “sparkle” quite yet just keep checking for updates to the Twitter app.
Switching Between Twitter Timelines
This is a really sensible way of dealing with users demanding the return of the chronological timeline. It’s Twitter acknowledging users’ desire to see all tweets from everyone they follow, while retaining the option to show people the best tweets first.
Twitter is still far from perfect. Not only is it confusing for new users, it seems to bring the worst out in a lot of people. Still, it’s one of the best ways of keeping up with what’s happening in the world, and our guide to using Twitter should help you tame the beast.