"Twitter is here to stay," Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said today, after BuzzFeed reported that timelines on the platform would soon drastically change by putting tweets out of reverse chronological order. The news has been rumored for a long time now, but it stirred self-described "core" users Friday night, some of whom said they felt betrayed by Twitter trying to become more like Facebook. Dorsey reassured users today that Twitter's real-time heart wouldn't necessarily be going away, but he stopped short of confirming anything about a new type of timeline, whether it would be opt-in, or when it would launch.
"We love the live stream"
"Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time," Dorsey said today. "We love the live stream. It's us. And we're going to continue to refine it to make Twitter feel more, not less, live!" But Dorsey closed with what looked like an admission that a different experience would be coming, saying that "Twitter can help make connections in real-time based on dynamic interests and topics, rather than a static social/friend graph." That's just a way of saying that Twitter can be more than the reverse chronological timeline of people you follow.
Twitter tested the non-chronological feature with some users last year, but has taken a while to decide when and how to roll a new timeline algorithm out to users. Dorsey's charge since taking over Twitter from Dick Costolo has been to revitalize the service and infuse it with some much-needed vision. He'll also have to solve the major problem of abuse and harassment on the platform, which one of his engineers learned about firsthand last night after angry users harangued him for daring to change Twitter's user experience.