During an idle moment away from running SpaceX, Tesla, and The Boring Company, prospective Twitter owner Elon Musk on Wednesday night tweeted to his 92 million followers how “chronological tweets seem much better than what ‘the algorithm’ suggests.”
Musk was referring to the feature that lets you see the most recently posted tweets at the top of your timeline, rather than letting Twitter’s algorithm decide the order by picking out the tweets it thinks you’ll find most interesting.
Chronological tweets seem much better than what “the algorithm” suggests
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2022
During an idle moment away from running online payments firm Block and perhaps pondering what the world would be like if he’d never created the social media behemoth, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey chimed in with his own take on Twitter’s algorithm-generated timeline, explaining to Musk that “the algorithm is good at surfacing stuff you’d otherwise miss by not scrolling.”
Dorsey also pointed out that the latest-tweets feed is “best for live and breaking events,” while adding that “having choice is the most important.”
this is the way
though the algorithm is good at surfacing stuff you’d otherwise miss by not scrolling. reverse chron best for live and breaking events. having choice is the most important. ideally being able to choose what algo you want to use…
— jack (@jack) May 12, 2022
Musk, possibly knee-deep in papers linked to his proposed $44 billion takeover of Twitter, came back with a one-word response: “Yeah.”
And that was the end of it.
It’s been a rocky road for Twitter’s latest-tweets timeline, and so fans of it will be delighted to see Musk showing it some love. The company ditched it in 2016 in favor of its algorithm-generated timeline that surfaces recommended or “in case you missed it” posts. Turned out that what users missed most was the latest-tweets timeline, and so Twitter eventually agreed to restore it a couple of years later.
But Musk’s comments suggest that if he has anything to do with it, the latest-tweets timeline is here to stay. He might even make it the default setting.
You can view the latest tweets by those you follow by selecting the “sparkle” button at the top right of the display and then selecting, “switch to latest tweets.”
The pair’s brief Twitter chat came on the same day that reports suggested Musk is facing a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probe into whether he broke rules in April when disclosing a large stake in the social media platform, and Dorsey insisted he would never lead Twitter again, even if invited to do so by Musk.