Twitter is rolling out a change that frustratingly makes it a bit more difficult to view your chronological feed.
The layout change, which allows you to slide between the Start (algorithmically served) and Last (reverse chronological) timelines, was announced Thursday. To set it up, tap on the sparkly icon in the top right corner and you will see the option to pin your “Latest Timeline” and if you select it, you will see both “Home” and “Latest Tweets”. tabs at the top of the iOS app. If you’re using pinned lists in the iOS app, the layout might look familiar. The feature is available first on iOS, and will be coming to Android and the web “soon,” Twitter says. (The company began testing the feature in October.)
However, to my great disappointment, I discovered that after trying the feature, I am now unable to make the chronological feed the default. Instead I can only have Home as default or configure the two tabs Home and Latest Tweets and switch between them as needed.
Not everything is bad. Switching from Twitter to other apps on my phone, if Latest Tweets was the column I was looking at, it will be the center of attention when I return to Twitter. But when I force close and reopen the app when looking at the Latest Tweets column, the Home feed is what Twitter displays first. Twitter spokesperson Shaokyi Amdo said that the Home feed will be set first by default “for now” and confirmed that there is no way to set Latest First by default.
This feels like a big step backwards for me. Now on iOS, whenever I want to scroll through a feed in reverse order like I always did before, I’ll first have to check if I’m looking at the correct feed. Fortunately, at least for now, Latest can still be the default on the web for me, even in Safari on my iPhone.
Twitter started rolling out its algorithmic timeline in 2016 (For something high profile scandal) and introduced the glowing icon to allow you to toggle between algorithmic and reverse-chronological fonts in 2018. To me, brightness always felt like a pretty decent way to allow the Start and Last timelines to co-exist, but with the change announced on Thursday, Twitter seems to be pushing users towards the algorithmic feed. Instagram, on the other hand, Its testing bringing back your chronological feed.