If your Twitter timeline seems a little different lately, it's not because you've inadvertently started following a bunch of new accounts. It could be Twitter itself, figuring out who it thinks you are and what it thinks you like.
In a blog posted Thursday evening, Twitter announced that it had been inserting tweets into timelines based on the user's interests -- tweets from accounts that the user may not follow.
We’re testing & exploring ways to include Tweets in your timeline we think you'll find interesting or entertaining: https://t.co/K9zqg5nTg0
— Twitter (@twitter) October 17, 2014
Twitter characterized its more active editorial role as "improving your home timeline." "There are times when you might miss out on tweets we think you’d enjoy," Twitter said.
Detailing the tests, Twitter said it had been inserting recommended tweets, accounts and topics into some timelines. Twitter said it was using information based on the accounts users follow, the popularity of the tweets, and interactions within a user's network to select the tweets to be inserted.
Not all users would be seeing the inserted tweets, but Twitter hinted that it may expand such efforts in the future, saying, "As the timeline evolves, we will continue to show you tweets you care about when they matter most."
Will the experiments lead to a more widespread deployment? Based on some of the replies to the tweet announcing the tests, Twitter may want to reconsider.