Twitter rolls out new feature in bid for 'much larger UI overhaul'

New version of interface makes it easier for users to switch timelines

Web Desk
A user holds up a phone with Elon Musks Twitter profile visible against Musk. — AFP/Files
A user holds up a phone with Elon Musk's Twitter profile visible against Musk. — AFP/Files

Twitter has replaced its original algorithm-based timeline and reverse chronological home feed with an algorithmic “For You” timeline the default in the iOS app. The change is controversial as the company has tried to implement it before but had to retract due to pronounced backlash from users.

Given the ever-changing nature of social media and the demands of consumers, it is a small wonder that social media platforms are constantly making changes to their interfaces. At the onset of 2022, the creators of TikTok announced they were testing new features to ensure better sleep of its users.

Now, Twitter Wednesday announced a feature that greatly resembles the way TikTok's feed works. New “For you” and “Following” tabs in the interface of the microblogging platform will replace the older “Home” and “Latest” tabs.

The microblogging app has removed the sparkle-shaped icon from the top-right of the app’s interface, allowing users to switch between the previous tabs. However, the company announced that the new change is being rolled out to iOS users first and those who use Twitter on Androids and the web can still see the old star button.

The new “For You” shows users tweets from people they follow like the older version did — out of order — and is sprinkled with tweets from people they don't suggest by the algorithmic.

However, the new “Following” tab shows tweets purely in reverse chronological order.

The new version of the interface makes it easier for users to switch timelines by simply swiping between the two, but iOS users will always see the “For You” tab when they open the app.

Business magnate and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk announced the launch of this feature on his Twitter account on January 8.

Musk tweeted, “Easy swipe right/left to move between recommended vs followed tweets rolls out later this week. First part of a much larger UI overhaul. Bookmark button (de facto silent like) on Tweet details rolls out a week later. Long form tweets early Feb.”

Along with the change in the interface, Musk also announced a series of other changes as part of his plan for a larger overhaul of the way the app functioned. These changes include an addition of a bookmark button and the addition of the long form, which he announced will be launched in the middle of January and early February respectively.

Keep in mind that Musk bought Twitter in October 2022 and has changed a lot since then. He had been critical of Twitter’s management and its moderation policies, and a number of executives were released from their roles immediately after Musk’s takeover.