Twitter has fixed a bug that left some of us horrified when we opened the site (as is often the case, but for different reasons) — those viewing the social network in a web browser found that they no longer had the option to switch between the algorithmic view and the reverse-chronological one. The algorithmic view, which shows tweets out of order, has been much maligned since it first appeared, and the bug on Tuesday had people worried that Twitter was finally starting to force it on everyone.
Twitter’s support account says that web users should be able to change their timeline order again, and a few of us at The Verge have confirmed that the button is back on our timelines. Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour called the toggle’s disappearance a “bug,” reiterating what a company spokesperson told The Verge.
Tweets in chronological order on web has been fixed –– the option to switch your Home timeline view to latest Tweets first was removed for some of you on web. We’ve fixed this and the option should now be available again for everyone.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 29, 2021
Adding to the confusion, Twitter’s page explaining the timeline has a bullet saying that switching between top tweets (aka tweets served up algorithmically) and latest tweets is a feature that’s only available on iOS and Android. Some took this to mean that the option was really going away, but it turns out that the line has been there for years, according to the WayBack Machine. It’s possible the line is just a holdover from when the “sparkle” button was first introduced, because it conflicts with information that shows up later in the article: Twitter includes instructions on how to change your timeline order for the web at the bottom of the page.
If Twitter has a plan for doing away with the option to view a chronological timeline, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be carrying it out today. For some, that news may come as a mixed bag — maybe being forced to use an algorithmic timeline was the best way to kick a bad habit.
Extremely glad that Twitter removed the “Latest Tweets” option and is forcing everyone to use their algorithm because now I will spend way less time on Twitter
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) June 29, 2021
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