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Twitter Puts Popular Tweets on Top

Twitter's reverse chronological timeline may seem familiar and comfortingly chaotic, but the social network is rolling out a change to mix things up. Twitter wants to make sure you always see the best tweets first.

For now, you have to opt in to the feature, which uses an algorithm to decide on the best Tweets from users that you follow and paste them to the top of your feed. Underneath, users will find the rest of their timeline as it has always been, from most recent to oldest.

When you refresh the page, the top of the feed will reveal new popular tweets selected by the algorithm. It's similar to Twitter's current "While You Were Away" feature, which picked tweets that you may have missed while you weren't using the app or website.

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Twitter claims that people who use this feature will interact more by tweeting and retweeting, though users of the service have appeared wary of the changes to the social network. However, it may drive down new tweets from less influential users, creating a cycle when the popular stay popular and the unknown remain that way. So much for becoming Twitter famous.

To activate the feature, Web users can go to Account Settings and look for "Show me the best Tweets first" under the Content header. In Twitter for iOS, the option is under Timeline > Timeline Personalization. On Android, It's under Settings > Timeline. The feature hasn't come to Tweetdeck or other third party clients.

The feature is currently being rolled out to select users, so don't fret if you don't see the option just yet. Because it's opt-in, Twitter purists will be able to use the service without the new algorithmic suggestions, though there is no word if Twitter will ever force the feature on all of its users.