As if it’s not already annoying enough to see promoted tweets in your Twitter timeline, an inevitable advertising move that we’ve grumbled about and gotten over, Twitter says it’s going to sprinkle strangers’ musings, missives and messages into users’ timelines. Just because it can, apparently.
So not only will you see say, an excited tweet about the benefits of some frozen yogurt, but you could find out that a guy who lives in Argentina just stubbed his foot. Maybe you and that guy end up being best friends, but still, people are expressing annoyance at the update to Twitter’s FAQ subject: What’s a Twitter timeline?
Apparently, it’s a place for you to read what strangers are saying, perhaps against your will:
Your home timeline displays a stream of Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow on Twitter.
Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.
This could be good, if you aren’t following Neil DeGrasse Tyson and see the light when one of his tweets lands in your lap, forcing you to ponder the enormity of time and space and your perhaps insignificant role in it.
Or it could just be annoying, especially if you see more tweets from strangers than from people you actually follow.
It’s also just one more way for the Twitter universe to show you the fun stuff your ex is doing without you, like that beer-making class in the Andes with alpacas. Ugh. Thanks, universe!