In the heydays of Twitter (2006-2015), the platform functioned akin to any other social media platform out there. It presented the data in chronological order and displayed content as per the time it was posted. As the user base of Twitter expanded, there was simply too much content on the platform and that’s when the Twitter algorithm came into existence.
The algorithm intelligently matches relevant content by analyzing various factors such as the engagement rate, relevancy to users, and post type. It also uses different ranking factors that determine whether a user will like the content. Brands and marketing agencies utilize various Twitter analytics platform for getting this data. One such tool is FollowersAnalysis which provides you with an illustrative PDF report with detailed profile metrics.
Although this method is advantageous for users, this became quite a bit of work for marketers. They had to re-evaluate their marketing strategy and efforts to make sure that their content or post reaches their audience. However, we have plenty of ways that can help you in tweaking your strategy and ensuring that your content achieves the maximum possible impressions.
Why Does the Twitter Algorithm Exist?
In 2014, Twitter’s CFO, Anthony Noto stated:
‘Displaying tweets in a reverse chronological order isn’t the most relevant for user experience.’
When the Twitter algorithm was introduced on the platform in 2016, many users stated their discontent with the new system. Many high profile users threatened to abandon the platform. In its early days, Twitter had a timeline structure, and tweets were displayed in the order of their posting time in the user’s timeline. At first, it was convenient but, as users grew, so did the number of tweets. It became quite difficult to track all the tweets that a user would receive on their timeline every day.
So, the platform introduced an algorithm that allowed users to track tweets based on relevancy and popularity. This algorithm aimed at displaying relevant content to the Twitter audience. It helped them ensure that the users do not miss out on important tweets. This was the new default timeline on Twitter. However, this algorithm was active as a default option.
It was simply a switch from ‘what’s new’ to ‘what’s relevant’.
Changes in The Twitter Algorithm in 2021
Twitter algorithm underwent a major overhaul in 2017 with the introduction of the relevance model when it replaced ‘While You Were Away’ with ‘In Case You Missed It’.
If you are following hundreds or thousands of users, it becomes quite difficult to catch up on the content that you might have missed. The changes that were introduced in the algorithm in 2017 still influence the content that is displayed in the user’s timeline. The factors that define relevance are much more complicated and are constantly getting modified.
Twitter Algorithm Content Ranking Standards
Twitter states that right after a tweet is posted, it is ranked on the basis of a relevance model. This relevance model is based on algorithms that define whether a particular tweet will be relevant for you.
Twitter algorithm and content ranking parameters change constantly. But, an official post on Twitter’s blog from 2017 states a few crucial points to keep in mind when implementing a Twitter strategy and maximizing reach. The excerpts below are a direct quote from Twitter’s official blog:
- The Tweet itself: Its recency, presence of media cards (image or video), total interactions (e.g. number of Retweets or likes)
- The Tweet’s author: Your past interactions with this author, the strength of your connection to them, the origin of your relationship
- You: Tweets you found engaging in the past, how often and how heavily you use Twitter
The Twitter Timeline Decoded
A Twitter profile’s timeline consists of 3 sections. These are:
- Ranked Tweets: These tweets appear at the top and are displayed on the basis of relevancy. Ranked tweets do not appear in reverse chronological order and are solely based on algorithmic calculations. The algorithm picks up tweets from my timeline and displays them at the top. Most of the tweets in the ranked section have received engagement from the people I follow and the algorithm thinks that I will too engage with the tweet.
“Ranked tweets are those which Twitter thinks may be relevant to you.”
- In Case you Missed It: Although the Twitter algorithm populates this section’s relevant tweets, the tweets may be from hours, or even days ago. This section only appears if you have been away from Twitter for a period of time. Simply put, all the tweets in this section are ranked and only vary in ‘recency’.
(@s8n- the account is now suspended)
- Remaining Tweets: The remaining tweets section includes all the tweets from your timeline and includes retweets, promoted tweets, suggested accounts that ‘Twitter thinks’ will make your timeline more interesting. All the tweets that are not in the ‘Ranked tweets’ and ‘In case you missed it’ section is included here.
With the Twitter timeline decoded, let’s move on to the steps that can help you in enhancing your Twitter reach in 2021.
Twitter Verification Update
The application for the blue checkmark is about to make a comeback this year.
At the end of 2017, Twitter stopped the account verification process and set its eyes on reworking the guidelines for the same. It also reevaluated the existing verified accounts as well to make sure that they met the updated verification standards.
In 2018, Twitter again began verifying the accounts of politicians. Each and every politician that appeared in the general election ballots were verified. It also introduced account labels that indicate, which political race the politician is running in.
Although, the Twitter verification process was yet to be open for brands, influencers, and other active Twitter users. Twitter has been updating its verification process for a while and they are about to release some very strict guidelines.
Key Twitter verification 2021 updates,
- Profile bio and header image no-longer essential for verification
- Minimum follower count is now decided as per-region rather than country
- More strict rules for reevaluation of existing verified accounts
- Introducing Twitter verification categories (badges)
- Verification badges from inactive and incomplete will be removed
Twitter is also working on its web application. You may soon be able to apply for Twitter verification directly from your smartphones
Other Major Twitter Updates
Ban Accounts that Incite Violence
Another major update on Twitter is related to accounts that incite violence.
Following the violent incident in the US capital on January 6th, Twitter suspended permanently suspended the former President Donald Trump @realdonaldtrump.
It clearly states that any user that uses the platform to encourage people to commit violent acts will be suspended from Twitter.
Twitter Algorithm December 2020 Update
The 2020 Twitter update was more focused on the spread of misinformation or fake news.
Previously, Twitter put its efforts to verify all known personalities and institutions that provide news and updates on COVID-19. Then it diverted its resources to identify accounts that spread fake news and about COVID-19 and vaccines for the same.
Twitter Introducing New Features in 2021
Periscope is an app that was often used by Twitter users to host live streams. But Twitter has decided to shut down periscope. Now users can simply use the in-built Twitter live feature to go live and engage with followers in real-time. It may not be an entirely new feature but it a major change nonetheless.
Fleets are portrait-sized tweets that can be used as text, images, or 30-second short videos. This kind of content is also known as ephemeral content. It is accessible for only a short period of time (24 hours).
One of the newest features that have created a lot of buzzes lately is Spaces. While it’s still an existing feature on another social media platform Clubhouse, Spaces is audio format only. The feature is still in its testing phase, but those that have access to the feature can add other users to the conversation.
Twitter has always been the go-to platform for short-form content. But that is about to change, Twitter recently acquired Revue and is currently in the process of integrating the platform. This presents a great opportunity for content creators and bloggers.
- Super Follow
Another great feature that could be introduced soon is Super Follow. This will enable content creators to monetize their tweets. While the idea of paying to see tweets doesn’t sound that appealing, it is a great opportunity for content creators to post exclusive content for users that are willing to pay for it.
Tips for Increasing Your Twitter Reach in 2021 Using FollowersAnalysis
In order to maximize the visibility of your tweets in 2021, there are a few metrics that you must keep in mind. Metrics like the best time to tweet, top retweeted tweets, identifying top followers, and a lot more.
FollowersAnalysis is one such amazing tool that can provide you with all these analytical metrics, and then some more.
Let’s have a look at some of the metrics that can help you enhance your Twitter reach in 2021.
- Find the Best Time to Tweet
People have busy schedules and they are not logged on Twitter 24 hours a day. Not even all your followers are online at the same time. But, there must be a time when most of your followers are online. FollowersAnalysis can read the engagement received on your tweets and provide you with the best time to tweet. You can then post your tweets at the designated time and maximize your Twitter engagement.
- Find Content That Resonates with Your Audience
Some of your content resonates with your followers and some don’t. What if you could get a list of all your tweets that received the maximum number of likes and retweets? FollowersAnalysis analyses all your tweets and retweets and lists the number of likes and retweets received on each of them. Having a list such as this handy can serve as a reference for you in generating more relevant content.
- Analyze Your Target Audience Demographic
Your followers are humans (I guess you are as well) and they too have connections. There may be instances when some of your followers have a greater following of their own. You can mention them in your tweets or retweet their tweets to maximize exposure and tap into their audience base. FollowersAnalysis can provide you with a list of your followers that have the highest number of followers.
Every performance-enhancing metric is available right at your fingertips. FollowersAnalysis can help you in developing an impactful Twitter presence and maximizing exposure.
Armed with precise analytical insights, you can rest assured that your Twitter campaign will make waves.
The Twitter algorithm has changed the way content is presented to the user. It has also opened up new opportunities for users to develop new strategies and build up an impactful social media presence. Understanding how the Twitter content ranking algorithm works is crucial for your posts to succeed.
Check out FollowersAnalysis.com and make the most out of the Twitter algorithm in 2021.