Twitter’s New Timeline- What Does it Mean for Brands and PR?

February 24, 2016

There is no denying that the world of media and communications is constantly evolving. Twenty years ago social media didn’t even exist, yet two short decades later, it has found its way to the core of the business world. In technology PR, we’ve become accustomed to social media announcements that can shake things up – which leads me to Twitter’s new algorithmic timeline and its impact from both a brand and PR perspective.

Twitter’s timeline is intended to enable you to never miss important Tweets from people you follow. The algorithm, which is built similarly to the one that populates the “while you were away” feature introduced a year ago, is meant to bring the tweets it thinks you would find most interesting to the top of your feed upon initial login. This, of course, means that Twitter’s feed is no longer being displayed in chronological order and to many, this is a huge change and one that is triggering some uproar.

According to a Marketing Land article, Twitter’s goal with the new timeline is to boost visibility of brands’ best organic content and to get more users interacting with that content. In essence, the brands’ best tweets will live at the top of their streams; this is supposed to get users engaged right away without having to scroll through less engaging posts. Twitter is implementing this new timeline in an effort to revamp its advertising strategy and ultimately, increase positive engagement of brands’ posts.

So what does this mean to PR professionals in our efforts to ensure our clients’ content is engaging as possible? When it comes to the work we do for our clients, I would consider this motivation to produce tweets that are more engaging and knowledgeable than the last.  Ultimately, the more compelling and targeted content means a better match for the algorithm and will encourage engagement and followers to keep coming back for more.