Twitter Algorithm Recap, and Update for 2019

Today, almost all information can be received by a single scroll on your mobile phones or a single click with your keyboard. That is how fast-paced everything is in the digital industry. Such is social media platforms where people are the most collated, and information could be distributed within just a second. One of these social media platforms that are famous today is Twitter.


With Twitter, you can express how you feel, and what your thoughts are in 280 characters. You can Retweet other handles’ Tweet, Like it, or have it Quote Retweeted where you can also add some of your thoughts. In a Tweet, you can also put links that will redirect your viewers to the website. Your followers would be the ones who could see all your engagements on Twitter.


But just like any other social media platforms, there are also a few tweaks with the Twitter Feed algorithm this 2019. If you want to have an edge with this massive platform, you might as well start becoming informed about the Twitter algorithm, especially when you are in the field of social media marketing. Twitter has a different tone than Facebook, so your tone here when it comes with boosting your brand should be a little different.


If you are also interested in learning about Facebook algorithm, another social media platform, you may want to check out one of our articles here.


Twitter Algorithm Recap

Twitter was first established in 2006. As a prototype, it was only used as an internal service for employees in a podcasting company called Odeo. The first version was publicly introduced On July 15, 2006. During this time, the Twitter timeline was just simple. Viewers can get to see the tweets on the timeline in reverse chronological order.


The social media platform peaked in 2007 with 20,000 to 60,000 tweets per day. It grew to 200 million tweets per quarter in 2008, and in 2010, about 50 million tweets per day were sent by users. With every event or significant news, Twitter usage skyrockets. In 2014, Twitter experienced were made to be more optimised with the inclusion of recommended tweets, topics, and accounts. With this, you can also get to see the entire Twitter universe, aside from the world with just your current Twitter Followers.


In 2015, Twitter added the “While you were away” feature. This is so users can get to see the recent trending tweets, and could still engage with it. With this, no one would fear missing out any happenings on Twitter. In 2016, users reactive negatively with the algorithm update as they tweet #RIPTwitter. With this update, the “best tweets” were placed at the top of the users’ feed. Though, if users would refresh, the feed would return to chronological order.


This feature, however, optimised the Twitter experience more as it garnered more engagements, and interactions. In 2017, tweets were scored by the engagements they met – or by a relevance model – to weigh which content would the users find interesting. From “While you were away”, it was switched to “In case you missed it”.


Twitter Algorithm Update

It was announced in 2018 that users can now freely choose between depending on Twitter algorithm with having Top Tweets in their timelines, or opting for the real-time feed. The Top Tweets feed has become the melting pot of Twitter algorithm where tweets are sifted “based on accounts you interact with most, tweets you engage with, and much more,” according to Twitter. Though, like every algorithm, there are still other variables with the Twitter algorithm. Here are some of them:



The tweet is weighed based on how recent the tweet has been published. Meaning, if it was only tweeted recently, it would still be relevant, and may still spark interest with other users.



The tweet may be included in Twitter’s Top Tweets if it garnered many Retweets, Likes, clicks, and impressions. Another variant may be how other Twitter users have engaged with it or tweeted about it – if there are many who have Quote Retweeted the tweet, replied to it, and to the author.


Rich Media

Twitter could not only accommodate statements, but also pictures, videos, polls, GIF, and even live videos! A variant of Top Tweets would also be how rich the tweet is. Is it the type of tweet that includes other media like images, videos, and polls? With respect to this, how do other users respond to the tweet? Users often reply to a video with another video.


Other factors

There are also other factors relating to the Top Tweets selection. If the user has been away from the site long enough, their tweet might not easily appear at the Top Tweets feed. Follower count, and account location to other users can also be factors.


Here is a short recap of the Twitter algorithm, and an updated regarding what has changed. In the future, as the digital realm expands, the Twitter algorithm would surely change. It is known from the factors of the Twitter algorithm that the content of the tweet, and how it is received is crucial. This is why when you are braving the industry of social media marketing, you would need to have strategists from social media management providers for you to be guided.