So Twitter wants to change things.
According to multiple reports (you can find here, here, and here), Twitter is more than considering changing the way users see their feeds. Exactly how is not entirely clear yet as many have looked at smaller changes such as bringing back out tweets from users you already follow or changing the algorithm completely by curating content that they think you want to read.
That sure sounds like Facebook – and one of the biggest reasons why I use Twitter way more than I use the other guys. So, hopefully, it won’t go that way.
But this website isn’t about me. It’s about authors and publishing and the affects companies have on them. So the question becomes, how would Twitter’s changes affect authors?
I don’t think there will be overall positive benefits to this type of change on Twitter if it goes to the extreme. One of the best parts of Twitter is the raw information that is received. Of course, that is up to the individual to decipher what is accurate or a potential hoax, but getting information from Ferguson, Mo., or reading about uprisings overseas, to more simple tasks such as a favorite author announcing a new release and details about it are the best parts of Twitter.
Now, the people who are looking to make more money – and because it’s always about money – want to change it all.
Self-published, mid-tier may have a more difficult time gaining followers but, more importantly, keeping their attention. This is something we have seen on Facebook when it decided to change the algorithm to one that no one understands. But it meant that Facebook pages didn’t get as much attention as individual accounts, and “fans” of those pages aren’t getting information that signed up to see.
Yet, on the flip side, it may give smaller authors a better playing field if they have the money to use on marketing. With this type of change comes to chance to insert “sponsored” content, which we already see a bit on Twitter, but now people could pay to have their content high on someone’s stream. If Twitter does decide to push up old tweets that the user has not seen, this may mean that authors get their news in front of the eyes that they want.
But if adding more tweets to what can be an already cumbersome timeline may be just as bad as not curating content.
If you’re a writer of any sort, the idea of having a filter in any way probably makes you cringe.
I appreciate Forbes’ article on the potential change because more than anything it shows that Twitter has been used to give power to so many movements that may not have had it otherwise. I like Twitter for what it is and hope it reconsiders the more extreme changes.
Where do you stand on the potential change?