Twitter CEO Explains How (And Why) Random Favorites Are Appearing in Your Timeline

Twitter CEO Explains How (And Why) Random Favorites Are Appearing in Your Timeline

Last month Twitter started experimenting with showing favorites to some users from the accounts that they follow – that is, when their friends favorited a tweet, some of those favorites started to show up in their timeline.

The move wasn’t popular, and the reaction became even more severe when the experiment became an actual feature. Subsequently, Twitter updated its policy to better explain “What’s a Twitter timeline?” – specifically, it’s now a place where they (Twitter) can add content to your timeline that it deems popular or relevant.

Last week Twitter CEO Dick Costolo took a moment to explain to some users about how and why favorites are appearing in our timelines, and his explanation sort of makes sense.

“You get favorites when you pull-to-refresh 2x and we have no new tweets from follows both times,” explains Costolo. “2nd request for more content that would otherwise come back empty. Fulfilling that request well is a worthy goal, I think.”

To clarify: if you pull to refresh for new updates on Twitter (for iOS, for example), and there is no new content, Twitter could show you favorites from people you follow if they feel that the content is popular or relevant enough (to you). How accurate that algorithm is remains to be seen, but at least it doesn’t mean that we’re going to be seeing everyone’s favorites all of the time.