Since Twitter first launched, scrolling through tweets in reverse chronological order was the norm. You’d see every post from accounts you followed, as soon as they tweeted. But over time, Twitter’s algorithm has changed how users experience the platform.
Instead of a purely real-time feed, you now see algorithmically curated tweets based on engagement, interests, recency and other factors. This shift has fundamentally impacted users, businesses, creators and advertisers.
In this post, we’ll explore how the Twitter algorithm changed the user experience on the platform itself. We’ll look at the decline of organic reach for businesses and creators trying to reach their followers.
And we’ll examine how advertisers have had to adapt their strategies in response to the algorithmic timeline. Let’s dive in!
How the Twitter Algorithm Changed the User Experience?
The Decline of Organic Reach for Businesses and Creators
How Advertisers Are Affected and Adapting Strategies
Key Takeaways on the Effects of the Twitter Algorithm
Previously, browsing Twitter simply meant scrolling through every tweet from accounts you followed in reverse chronological order. It was like reading a constant stream of consciousness from friends, news outlets, creators and more. But the algorithm disrupted this real-time experience.
Now, you’re more likely to see “the best tweets first” – ones that the algorithm predicts you’ll be most interested in or likely to engage with, based on your activity. So tweets with lots of likes, retweets and replies are surfaced to the top. The algorithm also considers who you interact with, your interests, and recency.
This has some benefits – you’re more likely to see popular tweets that you would have missed before in the firehose of content. The algorithm can surface niche topics and accounts you may enjoy based on your usage, but don’t follow yet. For casual users, the algorithmic approach leads to a more curated experience.
However, many heavy Twitter users mourn the loss of the purely chronological feed. They argue it breaks the spontaneity and real-time nature that made Twitter so addictive and fun. Sometimes you miss tweets from accounts you follow simply because the algorithm deems them “not interesting enough”.
You have to deliberately check notifications or go to a profile to see all their tweets. This changed user experience has led users to interact differently on Twitter. People strive to create engaging tweets with maximum characters, photos, videos, and threaded commentary.
They adapt language and topics to satisfy the algorithm. Businesses and creators in particular have been forced to shift strategies to continue reaching their followers organically.
For brands, creators, and public figures, the Twitter algorithm has significantly reduced their organic reach. In the past, a post would appear instantly in the feeds of all your followers. Now it only reaches a fraction of them, unless it really resonates or goes viral.
Essentially, the algorithm makes reaching your audience and growing organically much harder. You’re now competing for a limited number of slots in the curated timelines of each follower. Even if someone follows you, your tweets might not show up unless they closely match that user’s inferred interests.
So getting high levels of engagement and growth now requires “outperforming” the algorithm. Tweets need to be extremely captivating and shareable to tap into Twitter’s recommendation engine and spread far. Merely posting consistently is no longer enough.
Businesses have adapted by trying to craft the most engaging, interactive tweets possible in hopes they perform well. This means more photos, videos, threads, current references, and conversations. Many now rely heavily on influencer collaborations, paid partnerships, and retweets/replies to get reach.
But for many, these efforts only go so far to counteract the algorithm’s impact. More often, brands simply Tweet more often to cope with lower reach per tweet. They also closely track performance and optimize content based on what actually resonates. But the days of easily reaching all your followers organically are gone.
For brands investing in Twitter advertising, the algorithm has also posed challenges. The increased competition for user attention brought on by algorithmic curation means more ad spend is needed to achieve the same reach and engagement levels.
In the reverse chronological feed, ads were clearly visible and clicked frequently. Now with users seeing only a limited window of tweets, advertisers have to pay more to get in front of them. Costs per follower, link click, and other engagements have risen.
Advertisers are responding by focusing campaigns on quality over quantity. The goal is creating truly compelling, relevant paid tweets and content that captures attention and interest amidst the algorithmic sorting.
This requires more precise targeting and bidding adjustments to reach users likely to engage. Advertisers are testing different formats too – promoted video ads, lead generation cards, website click campaigns.
Leveraging analytics has become more critical to track and optimize ad performance. Promoted trends and accounts help brands stay visible. Influencer partnerships lead to sponsored tweets spreading further.
And with organic reach limited, businesses now rely heavily on Twitter ads for any significant growth or traffic. Large-scale campaigns are focused on hookups, giveaways and lead generation.
While the algorithm poses hurdles, advertisers are adapting through refinement of paid strategies. The common thread is enhancing content, relevance and analytics to cut through the noise.
It’s clear the rise of the algorithmic feed has profoundly shaped Twitter, creating opportunities and challenges. Here are some salient conclusions about the results:
The impacts have forced brands to rethink how they create content and allocate budgets. While disruptive, the algorithm also opened new avenues to analyze performance and connect with audiences.
The Twitter algorithm fundamentally disrupted behaviors and strategies. Both users and advertisers had to adapt to new realities. Consistently creating engaging content and building communities is more vital than ever.
For brands debating if Twitter is still worthwhile, the answer is yes – with the right approach. Here are some often requested questions to consider:
Q1: Should I still use Twitter if reach is harder?
Yes, it’s still a valuable platform, you just need an optimization-focused strategy. Monitor performance closely and refine tactics to improve engagement.
Q2: What type of content works best now?
High-quality photos, short videos, and threads that encourage interaction work great. Post frequently but focus on your best content optimized for engagement.
Q3: How much should I spend on Twitter ads?
Look at your goals and targets, and model out an ad budget to achieve those. Monitor closely and adjust spending levels based on performance.
Q4: What’s better – organic or paid tweets?
It’s both! Consistently post your best organic content to build an audience. But also leverage paid ads to expand reach and convert new followers.
Q5: How do I know my ads are working?
Dig into ad analytics to see engagement rates, clicks, conversions. A/B test ad variations. Work to lower cost per result and hit positive ROAS.
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