Twitter frustrated a lot of users when faves (or “favs” if you’re cool) from folks they didn’t follow began creeping into their timelines. On paper, this signaled the end of the straightforward, linear stream that has separated Twitter from social networks like Facebook, which uses a mysterious algorithm to decide what posts users see. After eight years, was Twitter about to become more random?
In a pair of tweets to astrophysicist Katherine Mack on August 31, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo explained the appearance of strangers’ faves in timelines.
In other words: Twitter says it is feeding you tweets because there are no others for you to see at that immediate second. For Twitter’s power users who use TweetDeck and subscribe to @MagicRecs, it doesn’t mean that much. But as The Verge points out, showcasing faves could be a bigger deal for users who don’t follow that many people.