Twitter is Experimenting With Treating Favorites and Follows Like Retweets

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Twitter is testing out a new feature on users’ feeds that adds tweets from accounts users don’t follow. The new feature was recently detailed by The Next Web and Mashable.

Some Twitter users have noticed lately that tweets from accounts they don’t follow are popping into their feeds, even though no one they follow retweeted the posts. Instead, if an account you follow favorites a tweet or follows an account, that can also come up in your feed as part of the experiment. Here’s an example:

Even Anna Kendrick and Josh Groban are annoyed by it.

The reason behind these changes isn’t clear, and Twitter has yet to comment on it. Including ads in a users’s feed is one thing, but increasing engagement by changing the functionality of a favorite is another. The favorite tool is used in a lot of different ways. One of the most important things about it, though, is that it lets users engage with a tweet without having to share it with their followers. If favorites can also pop up in a feed like retweets, then why have separate buttons at all?

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