Twitter is updating its app today to make it easier to switch between the algorithmically programmed Home timeline and the feed that displays the “latest” tweets. When users want to switch between timelines, they usually have to press . to tap the “sparkle” icon in the top right corner of the screen and do it again to switch back. But as of today on iOS, tapping that icon offers the option to pin both the home and latest timeline to your Twitter home, allowing you to swipe back and forth between the two feeds instead.

Explains Twitter, the update makes the option to see recent posts “more visible and intuitive to use.” It also reduces confusion by making it easier to see which timeline you’re currently scrolling through, the company says.

The change comes at a time when there is an increased regulatory burden on technology companies related to their algorithmic recommendation systems and the lack of transparency about their inner workings. For example, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers has proposed the Filter Bubble Transparency Act, which would require tech companies to offer a version of their platforms that doesn’t use user data to make recommendations. The bill aims to give users the option to disable the tech company’s recommendation algorithms if they wish.

Since then, Instagram has promised to introduce a chronological feed option again. (Or technically a reverse chronological feed, if we’re precise.)

However, Twitter had already offered such an option, although some may not have known it existed. This latest change might just help bring out the feature better — the sparkle icon is in the same place it was before — but it could make Twitter itself easier to use.

In addition to supporting user choice, a “Latest” feed is also the kind of tool people turn to in a news-permitting situation, when the immediacy of information is more important than an algorithmic suggestion of the “best” content you may have missed . And that’s especially useful now during the Russia-Ukraine war, where people depend on social media apps to get the latest on what’s happening on the ground.

Twitter was first launched publicly to test this position in October. The company said the feedback was positive, so it has decided to ship it more widely.

At launch, the feature will be iOS-only, but it’ll be rolling out “soon” to both Android and the web. Twitter pushed for more specificity on that date, and could only promise it would be “in the coming weeks.”

This post Twitter’s latest update makes it easier to escape the recommendation algorithm – TechCrunch

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