It seems like Q1 of each year is Twitter’s favorite time for trying out new things, as almost exactly a year after testing the so-called Instant Timeline feature, one of the most popular social networks on the planet started experimenting with another potential change to its main page. More specifically, during the Australian Open tennis tournament which was concluded on Sunday, Twitter started showing groups of related trending tweets under the title of “#AusOpen is trending” to seemingly random users. In other words, people’s timelines were “infiltrated” by tweets from users who they aren’t following. Granted, removing them was just a tap of a button away, and if latest reports are to be believed – that’s pretty much what many people have been doing while also sending a quick yes-or-no type of answer when the app asked them whether they approve of the new feature.
Twitter representatives have already confirmed that the company has been experimenting with new changes to the timeline though they’ve described the entire process as an “ongoing” endeavor and haven’t commented on whether this new feature will roll out to users worldwide. The aforementioned experiment was seemingly exclusive to the Australian Open which suggests it was more technical than social in nature, meaning that it’s not surprising most users opted to hide highlighted groups of Tennis-related tweets as presumably the majority of the Twitter demographic simply isn’t interested in Tennis. Still, there’s little doubt that if this feature is ever to officially go live worldwide, it’ll have to be tailored to specific interests of each user, kind of like the Moments timeline is right now.
Speaking of which, it’s not exactly clear why Twitter is currently focusing on what’s basically an inferior version of Moments, given how this new potential feature makes the timeline more chaotic while not giving nearly enough information about trending events that are of interest to users, not to mention that it doesn’t even ask them whether they want to see that information in the first place. Of course, like many experimental Twitter features, it’s more likely than not that this one will never be given a global rollout, but only time and a couple of spokespeople may tell what Twitter has in store for us next.