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Twitter Timeline Settings: 5 Tricks To Control Your Feed

Tweet Eraser Team

July 20, 2023 | 11 min read

Twitter is always looking for ways to improve user engagement and attract new people to the platform. What happens on your timeline reflects this effort, as it is subject to regular changes. The aim is to make finding and interacting with content you love easy. One recent Twitter timeline settings change was the switch from Home and Latest to For You and Following tabs. How does it work in the first place, and can you change the order of the tweets?

Is it possible to only see the latest posts? Also, what can you do to change Twitter’s recommendations? Get to the bottom of all these questions and learn more about the platform’s timelines with this article.

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How Does Twitter Timeline Work?

So, how does Twitter determine what you see in your feed? Or, in other words, how does Twitter timeline work? As highlighted in the above section, there are two feeds – For You and Following.

The For You tab in the website and the app shows posts from accounts you follow on the social media network. At the same time, the platform recommends tweets and accounts depending on what it thinks you will find interesting. Twitter put a lot of effort into refining this section to ensure you see relevant and high-quality content. After all, the platform wants you and every other user to only come across the best posts. This means you’ll also come across profiles and posts you don’t follow.

The second Twitter timeline settings section is Following, which shows tweets from accounts you follow. You won’t see posts from profiles you don’t know.

Why does Twitter do this? Think about it, how will you discover new accounts and tweets without the algorithm? You can look for these profiles and posts, but what if you don’t know where to start? Also, not every user will try to find new content. The platform simplifies this process by recommending profiles and posts in your feed.

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Twitter Timeline Settings: For You Section’s Inner Workings 

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What separates the For You from Following Twitter timeline settings is the former has recommended tweets. You can think of it as suggestions from the platform. The social media network spends time learning from your behavior on the website. It observes what you do on the platform and then suggests the right content.

The recommendations use the algorithm to improve its suggestions. At first, you may not see relevant and interesting tweets. Over time, as the platform learns more about you, so does the quality of the recommendations. The social media network then starts suggesting accounts and tweets you may like.

So, you might be wondering what powers the platform’s recommendation system. The algorithm uses signals, which helps it understand you and your interests. Generally, the platform uses three signals for this purpose:

  • Popularity – Are the tweets or accounts trending on the platform? If yes, it is one of the reasons why you see specific profiles and posts frequently.
  • Credibility and Relevance – The tweet and accounts it recommends should be reliable. You should be able to trust the information you read. Similarly, the suggestions shouldn’t be random but relevant to your interests and current events.
  • Follower Engagement – The platform considers how accounts you follow and users who follow you engage with tweets and accounts. You may also enjoy the post if it performs well in your circles.

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Change Twitter Timeline Settings: Curating Recommendations

The best part about Twitter timeline settings is that you control your experience. Sure, there is an algorithm powering the suggestions. But you can change what you see and what it recommends. Popularity, credibility and relevance and follower engagement are out of your control. But there are other signals the platform uses to understand what you like and dislike. Given below are different ways to change Twitter timeline settings.

Twitter Timeline Settings: Account and Tweet Engagement

The platform monitors your interactions within the website to improve its recommendations. Who do you follow, and do you engage with their tweets? What kind of posts do you like or retweet? Are there threads where you join the conversation by replying to the posts? Observing your engagement with accounts and tweets gives the platform a glimpse of your likes. It can use this information to gauge whether you will interact with the post it recommends from an unknown account. In other words, your Twitter timeline settings rely on your engagement activity.

Twitter Timeline Settings: Interests, Topics and Lists

When setting up your Twitter account for the first time, you must provide three interests. The recommendation algorithm uses this information to fine-tune its suggestions. As you scroll through your regular timeline, Twitter will show you different topics. They contain trending and popular tweets on a specific subject. You can follow these topics, which the platform uses to personalize your experience. The social media network also observes the lists you create and follow. You can find these Twitter timeline settings within Content You See under Privacy and Safety.

Twitter Timeline Settings: Mutes and Blocks 

You may only like some of the accounts and posts you come across while you scroll through your feed. Fortunately, you can change Twitter timeline settings to improve the recommendations. For instance, you can mute accounts, and you won’t see their tweets in your feed. It also mutes notifications so that they won’t appear in your profile. The user won’t know about this when you use the mute feature. 

You can still see them if they message or tag you in their posts. It will still show that you follow the account. Also, you can mute words and phrases to curate your Twitter feed. When tweets contain any of these terms, you won’t see them in your timeline or get a notification. 

Blocks inform the platform that you dislike the account and its tweets. As a result, you won’t see any posts from the profile. Also, the account will know you blocked them. 

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Twitter Timeline Settings: Feedback 

Another way you can curate your feed is by providing feedback with Twitter timeline settings. In other words, you let the platform know what you dislike clearly. For example, you come across a tweet but don’t want to see those posts in your feed. There’s the option to let the platform know you don’t find the tweet interesting.

Similarly, other ways exist to provide feedback to improve the social media network’s algorithm. You can go to the trending section and mark trends you don’t like. Or, in Twitter settings, under Content You See, there’s the option to follow and unfollow topics. As you continue to use the website, it makes a list of your interests. The platform uses the subjects you follow and your activity to make this list. Twitter allows you to change these interests, which influences your experience on the social media network. 

Unfollowing accounts is another powerful signal as it removes the profile’s posts from your timeline. Also, you can report tweets, especially if they break the platform’s rules. 

By providing these types of feedback, Twitter better understands your dislikes. This information changes the algorithm to ensure it recommends the right tweets. 

Twitter Timeline Settings: Responsible Recommendations

As you may already know, you’ll encounter all sorts of conversations on the platform. After all, the social media network wants to ensure you hear all sides of the discussion. However, the platform also takes great care when recommending posts in your timeline. Why? The social media network doesn’t want to amplify voices which may cause harm or spread hate.

So how does Twitter know what type of accounts and tweets it shouldn’t amplify? It uses reports from users along with machine learning for this process. Some rules determine which accounts and tweets appear as recommendations.

For example, if the post comes from a government account that suppresses free speech, the platform won’t suggest the tweet. Anything that breaks Twitter’s rules or promotes illegal activities won’t get the visibility boost. 

Accounts that behave like bots or post spam will not appear in your recommendations. If the profile pictures don’t meet the platform’s guidelines, you won’t see them in your feed.

The platform goes the extra mile during critical public events and crises. For example, during elections, the social media network looks for tweets with misleading information. These posts will contain messages from the platform to ensure you know it’s misinformation. Why? Wrong information during these periods can cause a lot of harm.

Twitter wants to balance out conversations so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out on something. Remember, just because you can’t see these tweets in your feed doesn’t mean they don’t exist. These posts are visible if you follow the author or visit the author’s profile. 

The platform uses all the above factors in its Twitter timeline settings and other elements to curate your recommendations. 

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Can You Change Twitter Timeline To Chronological Order?

You want to change your Twitter timeline to chronological order as it makes tweets and conversations easy to follow. However, there is no way to enable chronological order on the app or the website. Instead, you can see the reverse chronological order. This means you can see the latest tweets first and the older posts below as you scroll. Here’s how to change your Twitter timeline settings to reverse chronological order:

App (Android and iOS) or Desktop

  1. Visit www.twitter.com and enter your credentials. If you use the official app, open it and log in to your Twitter account.
  2. The website or the app will open your timeline. Usually, you will be in the For You section, which uses the platform’s algorithm. 
  3. Select the Following section, which only contains posts from accounts you follow. The platform arranges the content in this tab in reverse chronological order.

When leaving Twitter, it remembers whether you were in the For You or the Following section. Let’s say you were scrolling through the Following tab on the app. The next day, when you open the app, the platform will show the Following section. In a way, it chooses the default tab every time you use the social media network.

Did you know the replies you see on your timeline don’t follow chronological order? Although this type of arrangement makes sense, the platform uses a different strategy. When you see replies to a post, it ensures you only see relevant content. How does the algorithm do this? Like curating your Twitter feed, the platform uses signals.

For instance, it shows replies with comments from the tweet’s author. It boosts responses from Twitter Blue subscribers. Also, if there is a reply from an account you follow, the platform may increase its visibility.

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How To Set Twitter Timeline To Latest Tweets?

It was possible to set Twitter timeline settings to the latest tweets. However, this was before the change to For You and Following section on your homepage. There was a star sparkle icon on the website or the app. Tapping it allows you to view the latest tweets on the platform. If you use the app, you must restart it to see the change. For desktop users, your Twitter timeline refreshes immediately.

In the current version of the app and website, you can’t view the latest tweets specifically. However, you’ll come across newer posts if you scroll to the top. You’ll see a pop-up on the app with the text New Tweets. It appears below the For You and Following tab. Select it, and you’ll see the latest posts.

On the desktop browser, there’s a slight difference. Scrolling up to the top of your feed, you’ll see Show’ X’ Tweets. Here, ‘X’ refers to the number of new posts. The website refreshes and shows the latest tweets when you click this message.

When your tweets appear on other users’ timelines, it boosts your visibility significantly. It improves your profile’s reach, increasing your follower count over time. However, the platform won’t recommend your account or posts if you break its rules or terms of service. If this happens to you, it becomes challenging to increase your audience. TweetEraser has handy features to help you find and delete these types of tweets forever. Clean your Twitter account today to improve your profile visibility and increase your follower count!

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