Twitter experiments with at least one new feature each and every day, and while most of these are simply that – experiments – some do move out of the beta process and become system-wide.
The platform’s latest venture, which it’s testing on its usual small subset of unsuspecting users, is slightly controversial – tweets from accounts that your friends follow are appearing in your stream.
These aren’t retweets from friends, and they aren’t promoted. What Twitter’s doing is populating tweets from accounts you don’t follow, but your friends do, in your timeline.
I told you it was controversial. See the tweet and screengrab below, which come courtesy of Twitter user @aleefbaypay.
WTF @twitter, why am I seeing tweets from accounts that I don't follow but are followed by someone whom I follow?
— aleefbaypay (@aleefbaypay) August 3, 2014
@aleefbaypay doesn’t follow Buzzfeed, so you understand his surprise (and, it’s clear, frustration).
As above this is not system-wide at the moment and it’s probably not in Twitter’s best interests to implement this feature unless they also give users the ability to immediately opt out – and not just from any account you see randomly appearing in your feed, but all accounts, with the click of a button.
After all, your Twitter stream is your Twitter stream, and as users we’re already exposed to retweets from our friends and promoted posts from marketers. We’ve basically accepted that, but I think Twitter might be taking it a step too far if it starts pushing any other unsolicited messages on us.
(Hat tip: The Next Web.)