It’s been rumored that Twitter is experimenting with letting its users control its algorithm instead of the long-established other way around. Even more intriguing is that it will sanction “third-party” tools to allow you to provide a customized timeline. Could this be the next step on popular social and streaming platforms where you can actually tweak the algorithm to get more of what you want to see and hear?
Opening It Up
A while back Twitter began its “Blue Sky Initiative” designed to let other platforms interact with Twitter in a way where the users could consume its content in a more customized, but de-centralized way. Of course, the idea behind the Initiative was to provide a gateway for cryptocurrency use, but either way, Twitter had agreed to open up its algorithm in a way that few thought possible.
While this is still a limited experiment, it does make you wonder what might happen if it should prove successful.
Would other social platforms find it useful to also add algorithm customization? How about streaming networks?
It’s Pretty Tight Right Now
Right now the only true way to train the feed algorithm on any site is to request or respond to a certain kind of content. The algorithm then learns from those engagements, and feeds you more of what it thinks you want. The problems come when you inadvertently click on something that you you’re not interested in, or tire of a content theme. At that point it takes time to retrain the algorithm, which frustrates users who already went through the training period once and don’t wish to do it again.
Being able to adjust the algorithm even in small ways could be a boon for users everywhere though, and as a bonus, the platform what get better user data in the process. It’s a win-win.
There’s no guarantee that Twitter will continue down this path, or that other platforms would follow, but it’s nice to dream, isn’t it?