Twitter wants to be like Facebook.
That, in brutal simplicity, is the gist of a Buzzfeed report outlining a new algorithmic timeline Twitter is set to roll out very soon.
The proposed system (which has since been viewed by The Verge) will reorder tweets so that the "most popular" posts will appear at the top of your timeline - much like the (goddamnawful) 'While you were away' feature the site launched last year.
Just as Facebook orders its timeline around posts that more of your friends have interacted with (and thus are deemed "more popular"), Twitter would post old tweets between new tweets when you first log on to view your timeline, breaking the "in-the-moment" chronology that has been at the core of Twitter's structure since it launched in 2006.
Twitter users vented their anger and frustration toward the proposed changes in apt fashion: moaning with their thumbs under the hashtag #RIPTwitter.
It should be noted that the proposed changes can be opted out of, meaning the howls of rage are a touch melodramatic.
Twitter's co-founder and current CEO Jack Dorsey took to his ailing social media site to reassure the masses everything was going to be okay.
Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time. Twitter is about who & what you follow. And Twitter is here to stay! By becoming more Twitter-y.— jack (@jack) February 6, 2016
Look at "while you were away" at the top of your TL. Tweets you missed from people you follow. Pull to refresh to go back to real-time.— jack (@jack) February 6, 2016
I *love* real-time. We love the live stream. It's us. And we're going to continue to refine it to make Twitter feel more, not less, live!— jack (@jack) February 6, 2016
Thank you all for your passion and trust. We will continue to work to earn it, and we will continue to listen, and talk!— jack (@jack) February 6, 2016
In addition to working for "passion and trust", Twitter is also desperately working to secure a competitive advertising model and secure new users following a dramatic fall in growth in recent years. Four top execs left the company in January, to take what Dorsey described as some "some well-deserved time off".
Time will tell if Twitter can find a solution to its growing problems - but changing the timeline doesn't appear to be the answer.