Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey has stepped in to address an angry backlash from users worried about rumoured changes to Twitter's timeline (see: 'Twitter To Introduce Algorithmic Timeline As Soon As Next Week' - Buzzfeed).
"I want you all to know we're always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week," he tweeted (which isn't exactly a denial, especially if you stress the "next week" bit of that sentence).
Clarifying matters even less, Dorsey added: "Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time. Twitter is about who & what you follow. And Twitter is here to stay! By becoming more Twitter-y."
So there you have it.
Of course it's up to Twitter what they do with their product. A minority of heavy users with strong opinions cannot be the only audience a business ever considers, especially if it wants to grow. But it can seem at times as if the people at Twitter are the only people not happy with how simple their service is to use. Call it tinkering, call it always striving for better.
But having already given us the ability to follow and unfollow whoever we like and block and mute those we don’t, while making lists and using hashtags or clicking on trending topics which interest us, Twitter has provided all the power we need to decide what we see. An algorithmic timeline - like the much criticised 'While You Were Away' before it - seems an unnecessary attempt to complicate matters - something else to side step or dismiss on the way to your timeline.
This isn't about a fear of change - or certainly shouldn't be. Some Twitter innovations are great additions (personally I love the 'mute' function - so much more satisfying than blocking). But typically the innovations which are best-received seem to be those offering something new, something to make tweets more interesting, such as multiple images or streaming video, rather than the ones which impose just another way to rearrange the already ideal way we see tweets.