How to turn off Twitter's 'best Tweets first' algorithm

Once upon a time, Twitter worked in the following way: Someone posted a tweet. Then someone else would tweet. Then you would see these tweets in your timeline, in the order they were sent. And because chronological order isn't good enough for social services any more (too predictable and rigid and not as easily monetized, or something like that), Twitter is by default now showing you the "best tweets first."

Whatever the hell that means.

Actually, according to Twitter, it means this:

"Tweets you are likely to care about most will show up first in your timeline. We choose them based on accounts you interact with most, Tweets you engage with, and much more."

No, thanks. Here's how to turn it off and get back to the hot takes in the order in which they were sent:

How to turn off Twitter's algorithm in the iPhone and iPad app

  1. Open the Twitter app. (Duh, but important.)
  2. Tap the "Me" icon in lower right corner
  3. Choose "Settings." (Looks like a gear icon towards top of screen)
  4. Now choose "Settings."
  5. Select your account, then find Timeline
  6. Tap on Timeline Personalization
  7. Uncheck "Show me the best Tweets first." Which may well be the only option you see.

How to turn off Twitter's 'best tweets first' algorithm on the website

  1. Log in to Twitter.
  2. Go to "Settings".
  3. Scroll down under "Content." Look for the "Timeline" option, and uncheck it.

And that's that. Your timeline will now be back to chronological order, peppered with ads, outrage and hot takes over the latest thing that happened.

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days.

9 Comments
  • Thank goodness for this, the top tweet thing is very annoying!
  • Even easier way, delete twitter Sent from the iMore App
  • I don't have timeline as an available setting option in my Twitter app. Is this only for some people? Sent from the iMore App
  • What version of ios are you on? Have you updated your Twitter app recently? I think this came in a recent change.
  • Up to date in iOS ant Twitter app versions. No option for this. Maybe it's rolling out over time? Sent from the iMore App
  • Offed. Thanks.
  • An even better way is to use a decent Twitter client, like Tweetbot
  • Thank you for that tip. I wish there was an option to turn off 'while you were away' too. You would hope they get the hint when you tell them "no" every time they ask "Did you like this?"
  • one month ago, twitter ceo: "I want you all to know we're always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week." *waits a couple weeks and quietly turned on the feature everyone was angry about as default* especially aggravating as i remember when it launched but defaulted off. i recall checking my settings to make sure. guess what, jack? when you reach into someone's device and flip a toggle without very clearly telling your user that is happening, it makes you look REALLY shady.