Back in February 2016, Twitter flipped a switch that almost caused the next world war. A long time ago, the platform would show users an orderly list of new to old tweets on their timeline.
In 2016, this changed to an automatically curated list that showed users what the platform thought was important to them. This move did not sit well with a lot of users despite Twitter claiming that the curated timeline provided a better experience for users.
While the move was reversed later and Twitter now allows users to choose whether they want to have a chronological-style timeline where new tweets are shown first or the algorithm curated timeline that juggles everything up just to show you what it thinks is important.
A good number of heavy Twitter users have claimed that the chronological order is the best way to use Twitter and you may be bound to just follow their word because you know no better.
But in the spirit of science, we have spent the past one month switching between the two timeline structures to eventually tell you which is best to use. We won’t be sharing any statistics, nor numbers but we’ll make it as simple as possible for you to understand the pros and cons of each timeline, let’s nduthis:
A case for Chronological order
If you want to see tweets in an order that makes sense, this is the way to go. Twitter will show you tweets from those you follow, with the latest tweets being on top of your timeline and the older ones being way down.
This type of timeline is consistent and orderly. You are able to follow events without the confusion of what happened first.
With this kind of timeline, it’s easy to miss some tea. If something is posted when you are away, then your chances of missing it are pretty high and it did happen during our test when all the juicy threads would be nowhere to be found if we skipped a day of Twitter.
Things can quickly get overwhelming or boring. If one of your followers is just sending tweets by the second, this could get on your nerves and if the timeline is full of people responding to other people, then the excitement is lost.
A case for Curated timelines
With a curated timeline, you get to see what the algorithms think is important to you and you know what, most times the algorithms are right.
You know that juicy Sunday thread you almost missed because you were brunching, boom, it’s there waiting for you. The best part of using a curated timeline is that we felt like we got all the highlights of what’s happening without really trying.
Do you like order? Then forget it if you use this curated timeline. Tweets from five days ago will show up before tweets from five minutes ago and there’s nothing you can do about it – it is what it is. You may find yourself responding to a tweet that has already gone through its virality cycle.
With a curated timeline, you’ll be seeing lots of tweets from people you don’t even follow, just because one of the people you follow liked that tweet.
So which one should you use?
If you are an avid Twitter user and have no life outside the platform, then using the chronological timeline is the best choice for you.
However, for those who just check Twitter occasionally, like once or twice a day, a curated timeline is the best option you have.