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Chronological Newsfeeds are a Thing of the Past

Recently, Twitter has implemented a new timeline. Instead of showing all tweets in a chronological order, Twitter picks out the ones who have gotten the best engagement and you are most likely to engage with on your newsfeed. And now, Instagram is following suit. Instagram has announced that they will also change their timeline to show users what they are interested in most, and what has received good engagement from other users as well.

The question is now what this means for users. It is a great step to engage users on the platform more, who have not engaged a lot before. An algorithmic based newsfeed is also beneficial for the first-time experiences of new users – everything they see seems relevant to them. Their newsfeed is now more relevant to their interests, so they are likelier to return to the social platform.

Users who have seen high engagement rates already, could now become even more popular, because their posts will have an even greater reach and will stay on timelines of followers for an even longer period of time.

On the other hand, users who already are active and do not have a huge following, will now possibly see their engagement rates sink. The more posts you have that have good engagement, the higher your chances of seeing that engagement rise even more. But if your posts are not engaged with a lot, you will probably see them fall even further.

For businesses, this change may become costly. A similar change has happened on Facebook regarding their newsfeed a while back, and it has cost businesses dearly. Reach for posts which would normally see good engagement would decline heavily. The only possibility of keeping referral traffic alive was promoting the posts and content through paid marketing on Facebook.

And that is where the root cause for this change probably lies. Twitter is facing a lot of pressure from their investors, Instagram would also not complain about higher revenues. Facebook’s newsfeed change has had positive implications for their revenue stream, so it is completely understandable for Twitter and Instragram to follow in Facebook’s footsteps.

The interesting development lies in how previously active users are affected by this change. Both social media giants will keep on testing to see if the change has an overall net benefit for users or not.


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