Twitter to put a stop to timeline spam

Microblog service plans major changes to make its real-time feed more user friendly

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Twitter plans to make users’ timelines more focused on “what’s happening” by introducing a service curating live events.

With the new tool, dubbed Project Lightning, users won’t have to see tweets about topics they aren’t interested but only on given subjects.

A team of editors under Katie Jacobs Stanton – head of Twitter’s global media operations – will help users to filter content and will curate the most visually appealing and relevant tweets about subjects of interest, Buzzfeed - the social news and entertainment site - reported on Thursday.

“It’s a brand-new way to look at tweets,” Kevin Weil, Twitter Senior Vice President of Product told the site. “This is a bold change, not evolutionary.”

On Twitter’s mobile app there will be a button which will take users to a screen listing of trending events, which may either be scheduled occasions or breaking news.

“It could be current events. It could be breaking news. It could be awards shows or sports. But also cultural events and moments — things around your location and where you are. There’s amazing content, for example, posted to Throwback Thursday every single Thursday. But it’s hard to discover it; you have to work as a user to go and find the best stuff, but [we] can do it easily and can package it richly,” Weil said.

Twitter spokeswoman Rachnell Millner confirmed the report to Reuters without providing further details.

Last week Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo announced that he would leave his post on July 1. Investors have long criticised Costolo for several months and pressured him to step down.

According to eMarketer - a company researching insights and trends in digital marketing - Twitter owned 1.6 percent of the $50.7 billion US digital advertising market in 2014, compared with 1 percent in 2013. During the same period, Facebook’s share increased from 7.6 percent to 10.4 percent.

Twitter’s shares have lost 20 percent of their value since November 7, 2013 while Facebook’s value has risen 72 percent, Google’s value 9 percent and Yahoo’s value 27 percent.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey will lead the company until a new CEO is appointed. Twitter has denied that it’s taking part in acquisition talks.

TRTWorld and agencies