Twitter, promoting more news links in user timelines

Over the past few years, Twitter released a number of news-related features in an attempt to become your go-to source for the latest in current events. It introduced a dedicated News tab in 2015. Last month, it also started testing an algorithm that puts trending tweets from news organizations at the top of your timeline when there’s a headline.

Now, Twitter is giving more importance to links tweeted by your network, and it’s also starting to group tweets that mention a link together on your timeline. A spokesperson of Twitter spoke to one of our sources confirming that the feature is now available both on iOS and Android devices as well as Twitter’s web platform.

This came up as part of Twitter’s shift in focus to surface more news through your timeline and Moments. Twitter started getting listed under the news column in the App Store in 2016 rather than the social networking category. It has started broadcasting live news shows in the home timeline, and it frequently compiles viral tweets together into stories through its Moments tool. It is showcasing news and tweets from journalists in its “explore” tab; and it is experimenting with curated timelines around breaking news events. This new feature will further support that effort.

This feature is somewhat alike with something that Facebook already does with its links that multiple friends are sharing. However, with Facebook, the interesting thing is that it recently rehabilitated its algorithms to favour local publishers over national publishers. It now seems as if based on the latest update on Twitter, the company is trying to walk a different path than Facebook. Some of our sources have reached out to Twitter for more information.

Twitter started grouping together tweets about events that are ongoing at the time it was initially launched “Happening Now.” In the beginning, it only applied to sports topics, but this new feature and the one that pushes trending tweets by news organizations to the top of your feed are part of this extension.

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