Relaunch of custom timelines shows Twitter is not done with testing new features

·2-min read
Custom Timelines can be created around a number of topics, from events or TV shows to particular topics of interest (Twitter)
Custom Timelines can be created around a number of topics, from events or TV shows to particular topics of interest (Twitter)

Twitter has quietly relaunched an old feature to some users in its test phase: custom Timelines.

Effectively curated feeds, timelines can be created by third parties who select and provide content based on interests and events.

They can also be created by Twitter based on general insights on the platform’s users.

These custom feeds run parallel to the home timeline and appear on a separate tab after you add a custom timeline from a prompt.

Content within a custom timeline is selected and ordered based on relevance to the theme based on search terms, topics, handles, and manual curation from whoever curated it.

This is not the first time custom timelines have been trialled at Twitter, with the platform testing a version of the feature as early as 2013.

After the flurry of new features in the last couple of weeks, Twitter is showing it is working on ways to improve the platform.

The timelines feature in its current version seems fairly limited, although it is still in its infancy.

With no clear option of being able to search for Timelines, you have to hope you happen across one that takes your fancy.

It us likely an attempt to allow people to exist within their own spaces on Twitter, a social media platform infamous for its negativity and antagonistic interactions between users.

In the same way as Twitter circles allows you to selectively share Tweets with a certain group of people, following custom timelines gives you more control over what you see on your feed – but also means you have less exposure to views and opinions that differ from your own.

Whether this could lead to people having a more pleasant time on the platform, or simply lead to more polarisation between different points of view remains to be seen.

How to use custom timelines on Twitter

Timelines are only currently available to add or remove via the web version of Twitter.

Once you see a prompt about a custom timeline on your feed, you can add it by clicking the ‘add timeline’ button at the bottom of the prompt.

This will create a tab next to your home timeline tab where you can find curated information about the topic you’ve just subscribed to, as well as information about whichever third party is curating the content.

You can use the tabs to switch between the home timeline and the custom timeline and navigate through the new timeline just like you would with your home timeline.

To remove a timeline, look for the settings option below the composer.

Click timelines settings, then ‘remove timeline’. Once you’ve confirmed that you want to remove, you will stop seeing this custom timeline on your feed.