How the Twitter Algorithm Works in 2021 and How you can Make it Work for You


Not everybody likes to have an algorithm decide the content material they see on-line. That’s why Twitter offers individuals a selection: the House timeline (aka High Tweets) or Newest Tweets. In different phrases, Twitter algorithm or no algorithm.

However the fact is, Twitter algorithms are form of unavoidable. From Developments to Matters to the Discover tab to really helpful accounts, algorithms at all times present customers personalised suggestions. Twitter itself says machine studying (aka algorithms) “can impression a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of Tweets per day.”

Which means that, as a enterprise, you have to optimize your Tweets to be picked up by the algorithm to have your content material seen by the suitable individuals.

What’s the Twitter algorithm?

First, let’s make clear one factor. Twitter is powered by a number of algorithms figuring out all features of how content material is served on the platform. This contains every thing from really helpful accounts to high Tweets. Like most social media algorithms, Twitter’s algorithms are all about personalization.

When most individuals discuss concerning the Twitter algorithm, they imply the one which powers the House feed timeline (also called the highest Tweets view). Right here’s how Twitter itself describes the algorithmic House timeline:

“A stream of Tweets from accounts you may have chosen to observe on Twitter, in addition to suggestions of different content material we expect you is perhaps thinking about primarily based on accounts you work together with ceaselessly, Tweets you interact with, and extra.”

The Twitter feed algorithm doesn’t have an effect on the principle timeline for these utilizing the Newest Tweets view, a easy record of Tweets from adopted Matters and accounts in reverse-chronological order. But it surely does construction the timeline for these utilizing House view.

Twitter algorithms additionally energy Twitter Developments, Matters, and proposals, which seem within the Notifications tab (and are available by means of as push notifications), on the Discover web page and within the House timeline.

How the Twitter algorithm works in 2021

All social algorithms use machine studying to kind content material primarily based on completely different rating alerts.

The reality is, the truth that it’s machine studying means not even Twitter is aware of precisely what its algorithms will floor. That’s why Twitter is at present concerned in analyzing the outcomes of its algorithms as a part of its “accountable machine studying initiative.”

This initiative has recognized Twitter algorithm bias points, together with:

Twitter algorithm change isn’t taken frivolously. Particularly because the algorithm’s first look on the platform made #RIPTwitter a trending hashtag. However Twitter has fashioned a Machine Studying Ethics, Transparency, and Accountability (META) workforce to handle inequities, which is able to probably result in adjustments within the algorithm over time.

As an illustration, to handle the image-cropping concern, Twitter modified the best way it reveals photographs. Now, Twitter presents single photographs with out cropping and reveals customers a real preview of what photographs will seem like when cropped.

So far as right-leaning political content material, that’s a piece in progress. Twitter says, “Additional root trigger evaluation is required to be able to decide what, if any, adjustments are required to cut back adversarial impacts by our House timeline algorithm.”

Future adjustments will probably give customers extra selection over how the system surfaces content material by means of “algorithmic selection.” Twitter says this “will permit individuals to have extra enter and management in shaping what they need Twitter to be for them.”

For now, listed below are a few of the methods Twitter rating algorithms energy your expertise on the platform.

House timeline vs. Newest Tweets

Twitter customers can toggle between two completely different Twitter timelines: House or Newest Tweets.

Newest Tweets reveals Tweets a real-time chronological timeline of Tweets from individuals you observe. House makes use of the Twitter rating algorithm to shuffle posts into what it suggests is a greater order (i.e., “high Tweets”).

To change between the House timeline and Newest Tweets, click on the star image on desktop or swipe between views on cell.

Customizable Timelines

Twitter customers even have the choice to create a customized timeline utilizing Twitter Lists.

You possibly can pin as much as 5 lists for straightforward entry. Inside them, you can toggle between Newest Tweets and High Tweets, similar to in the principle timeline.

Tweets from the lists you observe additionally seem in your House timeline.

Twitter Matters

Twitter makes use of an algorithm to recommend Matters primarily based on what it thinks somebody likes.

Should you observe a Matter, then associated Tweets, occasions, and adverts will seem in your timeline. The Matters you observe are public. You may also inform Twitter you’re not thinking about a Matter.

When Twitter first launched Matters final yr, individuals complained their feeds have been overwhelmed with Matter options. Twitter has since scaled again on options within the House feed, however you possibly can nonetheless discover them in search outcomes and when viewing your profile web page.

To entry and customise your Twitter matters, click on the three dots (extra) icon within the left menu, then click on Matters. From right here, you possibly can observe and unfollow Matters and inform Twitter which matters don’t curiosity you.

access and customize Twitter topics

Supply: Twitter


Developments seem throughout Twitter: the House timeline, in your notifications, in search outcomes, and even on profile pages. On the Twitter cell apps, you could find Developments on the Discover tab.

The Twitter trending subject algorithm determines which matters present up as Developments. Typically you’ll see some context about why a topic is trending, however generally you’ll should click on by means of to unravel the thriller.

By default, the Twitter trending subject algorithm reveals Developments primarily based in your present location. Nonetheless, you possibly can select to see traits for a selected location. From the For You display screen, click on Settings after which select the placement you’d wish to see.

choose location in setting options

Supply: Twitter

Clicking on a pattern reveals Tweets containing the related phrase or hashtag.

Advisable accounts (aka Who to observe or Prompt for you)

In your House display screen, the Discover tab, and profile pages, the Twitter algorithm suggests accounts it thinks you would possibly wish to observe. These suggestions are primarily based on:

  • Your contacts (if uploaded to Twitter)
  • Your location
  • Your Twitter exercise
  • Your exercise on third-party web sites with built-in Twitter content material
  • Promoted accounts

Twitter algorithm rating alerts

In keeping with Twitter, high Tweets are chosen “primarily based on accounts you work together with most, Tweets you interact with, and far more.” We will solely guess what “far more” means. Each algorithm has its secret sauce.

Right here’s what Twitter has shared about its House timeline, Developments, and Matters rating alerts:


  • For Developments: “matters which might be standard now, slightly than matters which have been standard for some time or each day.”
  • Present occasions and matters could seem in a bit on the high of the House timeline known as What’s Occurring.


  • ​​Your earlier actions on Twitter, like your individual Tweets and Tweets you’ve engaged with
  • Accounts you usually interact with
  • Matters you observe and have interaction with most
  • Your location (for Developments)
  • The variety of Tweets associated to a subject


  • For Tweets: “How standard it’s and the way individuals in your community are interacting with [the Tweet].”
  • For Matters: “How a lot persons are Tweeting, Retweeting, replying, and liking Tweets about that Matter.”
  • For Developments: “The variety of Tweets associated to the Pattern.”

Wealthy Media

  • The kind of media the Tweet contains (picture, video, GIF, and polls).

Observe that Twitter particularly says it’s going to not advocate “content material that is perhaps abusive or spammy.” This could go with out saying, however simply in case: don’t be abusive or spammy.

10 Suggestions for working with the Twitter algorithm

Attempt these tricks to improve attain and increase your amplification alerts to the Twitter rating algorithm.

1. Preserve an lively Twitter presence

All good relationships require dedication, even on Twitter.

As the corporate explains on its weblog, “Tweeting usually and constantly will increase your visibility and develop engagement.” Visibility and engagement, in fact, are key alerts for the Twitter algorithm.

Hootsuite typically recommends posting at the least 1-2 occasions per day and a most of 3-5 occasions per day (with a number of Tweets in a thread counting as one put up).

The much less usually you tweet, the extra probably your account is to be the goal of purges and unfollows. Don’t really feel overwhelmed, although. We will enable you schedule Tweets.

Protecting your Twitter account usually lively can also be a key requirement to…

2. Get verified

After a break of about three years, Twitter reopened its public account verification course of in Might 2021.

Whereas getting verified gained’t essentially increase your content material immediately within the algorithm, it’s going to assist present that you just’re respectable and credible. This, in flip, can improve engagement and followers, which ends up in increased relevance and engagement rating alerts.

3. Tweet on the proper time

Particularly since some individuals flip off the Twitter feed algorithm, it’s essential to tweet throughout peak engagement hours.

Hootsuite analysis reveals that, usually, the greatest time to put up on Twitter is 8 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. However when you’ve got followers in a number of time zones, it’s essential to put up content material all through the day.

Twitter Analytics will enable you be taught when most of your followers are on-line and lively. And Hootsuite’s Finest time to publish characteristic can present personalised suggestions about one of the best occasions to Tweet on your particular account.

4. Use tags purposefully

Hashtags are a good way to achieve traction on Twitter — branded or in any other case. For instance, Twitter information reveals that the eye a Twitter advert will get will increase virtually 10% when it contains branded hashtags.

Keep watch over trending hashtags. And even higher, plan forward with high hashtag and key phrase forecasts on the Twitter weblog. However don’t overdo it. Twitter recommends utilizing not more than two hashtags per Tweet.

Then there’s the @ tag. Should you point out somebody, you’ll want to embody their deal with. Embrace a photograph, and you’ll tag as much as 10 individuals in it. Tagging somebody will increase the percentages they’ll retweet and have interaction.

For instance, this entrepreneur who scored on America’s Massive Deal shared the information in a Tweet. She used a hashtag, @ tags and photograph tags to attract consideration, and Macy’s retweeted her put up.

Right here, Crimson Bull Racing mixed trending hashtags with photograph tags to focus on their workforce win on the U.S. Grand Prix.

Sign boosting of this sort is certain to attain just a few factors with the Twitter algorithm.

5. Use images, movies, GIFs

A lift in engagement may help your Tweet’s rating with the Twitter algorithm. And it’s well-known that Tweets with images, movies, and GIFs are likely to get extra consideration.

Twitter information reveals a 95% improve in video views on Twitter in 18 months, and 71% of Twitter classes now contain video.

Twitter lately started testing an expanded quantity of house for visible content material with edge-to-edge Tweets on iOS and Android, so graphics will likely be much more thumb-stopping.

Use captions in movies: this ends in a 28% longer view time.

6. Encourage followers to interact

In terms of soliciting engagement on Twitter, it’s easy. Ask, and also you shall obtain.

Ask a query. Ask for suggestions. Ask for replies in GIFs or emojis.

Internet hosting a chat or “ask me something” is one other good solution to get a convo rolling.

Add an incentive with a Twitter contest. The engage-to-enter format is a tried and true solution to increase likes, retweets, or feedback.

Clearly, when you ask for engagement, be ready to return it. Retweet related posts. Reply to questions. Present appreciation. There’s no such factor as a one-way dialog.

7. Attempt a Twitter Ballot

One other factor you possibly can ask for: votes. Polls are a fast and straightforward solution to ask for enter on one thing. It may very well be something from a thematically on-brand survey, to a request for concrete suggestions.

Samsung Cellular ballot:

Mailchimp ballot:

Twitter Enterprise ballot:

The additional benefit of a call-and-response technique is that it offers you with tons of buyer suggestions. Ensure you’re ready to benefit from it with listening instruments like Hootsuite.

8. Be part of related traits and matters

Search for traits and matters that your model can contribute to — or higher but, lead. Plan forward with Twitter’s This autumn 2021 vacation advertising calendar or our full record of social media holidays.

relevant Twitter holidays

Supply: Twitter Enterprise

Keep watch over the Trending tab on the Discover web page for the most recent traits in real-time. However don’t trend-jack or news-jack your approach into each dialog on Twitter. Discover the matters and themes that make sense on your model. Doing this will even improve your odds of showing in a Twitter Second.

9. Repackage high content material

Even when you tweet at peak occasions, likelihood is many followers could have missed your Tweet. And if it carried out nicely the primary time, it probably will once more.

Don’t merely Retweet or copy your top-performing content material. Discover inventive methods to repackage and re-share what works. Go away sufficient time and distinction from the unique in order to not seem spammy.

The New Yorker’s Twitter account usually shares the identical article at completely different occasions. However they select a unique pull quote or tagline to hook you in every time.

10. Apply insights from Twitter Analytics

In terms of algorithms, there are not any one-size-fits-all options. Use Twitter Analytics to trace what works and what doesn’t on your particular account, and tailor the following tips accordingly.

And for a hen’s eye view of how all your content material is performing throughout completely different social media platforms, select a social media analytics device like Hootsuite.

Handle your Twitter presence alongside your different social channels and save time utilizing Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you possibly can schedule and publish posts, interact your viewers, and measure efficiency. Attempt it free at present.

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