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The Changing Twitter Algorithm

Twitter Algorithm
Photo Courtesy of India Times

By now every marketer is familiar with Facebook’s stance on businesses using the platform for marketing. They provide the medium and they want to be compensated for it. Their solution was an algorithm they employed, which the company claims is to create a more enjoyable experience

Your business page on Facebook might have 3,500 likes, but all of your posts do not reach all 3,500 people. Go to one of your previous posts and look at the “120 People Reached.” This is because Facebook does not place your post in timeline of everyone that likes/follows your page. Their algorithm places your post on certain timelines based on a wide array of factors, including past behavior of your likes/followers, keywords, shares and many others.

This provides even more incentive for marketers to hit that “Boost Post” button and pay to have their post reach more people, affectionately referred to as “Pay to Play.”

Twitter’s Algorithm

Join us Wednesday, February 10th for our MarketShare Meetup: Pay to Play - The New Social Media. Click for details
Join us Wednesday, February 10th for our MarketShare Meetup: Pay to Play – The New Social Media. Click for details

What many people may not know is Twitter, which to this point has used a reverse chronological order system to display posts on someone’s timeline, is considering a switch to a brand new format. This switch would involve employing an algorithm that uses massive amounts of data, social behavior, keywords and more to display only the most relevant Tweets to your followers.

It is not certain whether this algorithm will apply only to Tweets deemed to be marketing, so Twitter can generate more revenue from “Promoted Tweets,” or if it will apply to all Tweets. The latter would rub many of Twitter’s 320 million active monthly users the wrong way since they won’t necessarily see all the Tweets from their family, friends and favorite accounts. The company’s analytics dashboard however, revealed that only a startlingly low 10-30% of followers see a given Tweet anyway because they get drowned out by other content.

It’s hard to say what will happen to the 10-30% figure if Twitter implemented their new algorithm, but with the mounting pressures of profitability it is reasonable to suspect that pretty soon you will have to pay to get significant reach on Twitter!

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