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Twitter Quality Filter reinforces need for ‘natural’ social media posts

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The recently announced Twitter Quality Filter has raised concerns from some users that they might ‘miss out’ on posts from the accounts they follow, as the social network moves away from its hallmark chronological timeline.

In a post on the Official Twitter Blog, the social network said: “Last year we began testing a Quality Filter setting and we’re now rolling out a feature for everyone.

“When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behaviour.”

There are a number of significant aspects to the filter, including:

  • It does not filter posts from accounts you follow – or accounts you have recently interacted with.
  • It can be switched on or off at will in your account settings.
  • It does filter duplicated tweets from some areas of your Twitter experience.
  • It does filter out content that appears to have been posted automatically.

In particular, the filter applies to the Notifications tab, which has also been given an option to only display notifications from people you follow on Twitter, rather than from anyone who interacts with you.

Significantly though, the filter’s action on duplicate content and automated posts may affect anyone who uses blog plugins and extensions to auto-tweet new blog posts, especially if a lot of your blog readership is gained via hashtags or retweets, rather than direct followers.

In order to stand the best chance of avoiding having your tweets filtered out of people’s Twitter experience, you should be sure to adopt a natural tone in the tweet text you use.

Varying the text of your tweet when sending out follow-up links to the same blog post may help too, for example by using the #ICYMI hashtag to indicate that a subsequent link to the same post is ‘in case you missed it’ the first time.

While the exact behaviour of the Quality Filter is not yet completely clear, it may be beneficial to use Twitter Cards to increase your links’ presence on people’s timelines and add the relevant image from your blog post too.

Doing so includes a card every time anyone links to your blog – not just in tweets from your own account – and is relatively easy to set up with the inclusion of a few meta tags into your blog or site template.

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