Twitter is relaunching the reverse-chronological feed as an option for all users starting today

Twitter is offering users another escape hatch from its ranked
timeline. The company said today that it will introduce a
prominent new toggle in the app to switch from the ranked
timeline to the original, reverse-chronological feed. The
company says the move comes in recognition of the fact that
Twitter is often most useful in real time, particularly during
live events such as sports games or the Oscars.

Twitter
began ranking the timeline almost four years ago
. It was an
effort to increase usage at a time when Facebook had pulled
dramatically ahead of Twitter, raising doubts about the
company’s future and setting it on a course to reinvent itself.
Many users griped about the change, even though Twitter has
always allowed users to switch back to the
reverse-chronological feed temporarily.

The latest incarnation of the original Twitter feed can be
accessed by tapping the cluster of small stars — the company
calls it the “sparkle” and now so shall we all, forever — and
switching to see the latest tweets. Over time, the company will
learn your behavior. If you routinely switch to the latest
tweets, Twitter will default you to them. This marks a change
from the past, when the app would switch you back to the ranked
timeline at unpredictable intervals.

Keith Coleman, vice president of product at Twitter, told
The Verge that in tests, users who had access to the
easy toggle participated in more conversations than average.
I’ve been one of those users, and the toggle has been a welcome
change. The flagship Twitter app’s strange aversion to
real-time tweets — the lifeblood of the service since forever —
is the main reason I continue to use Tweetbot on every
platform, despite how it gets worse every year due to API
restrictions.

Twitter’s re-embrace of live tweets gives me hope that the
company will continue to elevate real-time features across the
platform. The company’s support for its pro app, Tweetdeck, is
halfhearted at best. Investing more in features for power users
will help ensure Twitter retains its place as the beating heart
of breaking news around the world — and ignoring them creates
opportunities for competitors.

The toggle will begin rolling out today on iOS and will come to
other platforms in the coming weeks, the company said.

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