Twitter tests personalized suggestions on who to unfollow on the service – CNET
If your Twitter follower count recently took a hit, a recent test on culling clutter from some users' timelines may be the culprit.
Twitter has long made personalized suggestions on who to follow based on users' individual histories on the platform, a service it hopes will increase engagement and users' time on the network. But Twitter has also been tinkering with a feature that suggests who you should unfollow.
The purpose of the test was to try to make users' timelines more efficient, Twitter said.
"We know that people want a relevant Twitter timeline," Twitter said in a statement. "One way to do this is by unfollowing people they don't engage with regularly. We ran an incredibly limited test to surface accounts that people were not engaging with to check if they'd like to unfollow them."
Only a fraction of Twitter's user base was exposed to the brief test, which has already concluded, Twitter said.
Offering suggestions on who users should unfollow might smack some as Twitter trying to limit the visibility of some users. Last month, President Donald Trump accused Twitter of using a practice called "shadow banning" to suppress conservative voices on the service.
Twitter denied the accusation, saying its "behavioral ranking doesn't make judgments based on political views or the substance of tweets."
It wasn't immediately clear when or if the feature would be rolled out to Twitter's broader user base.
Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook's data mining scandal.
CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET's newsstand edition.