Twitter rolling out “instant timeline”, hopes to boost rate of user growth

Twitter is rolling out a new feature called “instant timeline” which allows new users to instantly see a stream of content from the social network without having to go through the traditional and tedious setup process.

The reason why Twitter has launched this new feature is because new users who used to sign up to the service were not getting much instant value from it.

Last week the instant timeline feature entered public testing for the first time. At the moment instant timeline is being tested on a small number of new users using Android OS.

If the company receives positive feedback then it is expected to full-out implement the feature to Twitter.


The first step in the sign up process has not changed. New users have to pick a user name and a password and Twitter asks to access the person’s contact list on their phone. After this step Twitter will scan the contact list for people the user already knows that have Twitter accounts, suggesting them as people to follow.

In the past, the people that you decided to follow in the account creation process would influence what the user would see on their Twitter feed or users would have to search and “follow” the people they find interesting to see tweets, and even then sometimes what would appear on their feed may not interest them.

For example, if a new user decided to follow three accounts then they would only see messages tweeted by those three accounts.

However, with the instant timeline new users won’t have to follow anyone anymore to see content.


Vindy Goel, a writer at the New York Times, had the opportunity to test it out and said the following:

“Twitter analyzes your contacts and uses information like who they are and who they follow on Twitter to guess which accounts and topics might interest you. It then shows you those tweets in your feed. So if your friends are foodies, you will see items about recipes and food trends. If they are football lovers or fans of Ellen DeGeneres, you will see National Football League video highlights and tweets from comic actors.”

Twitter is under pressure from Wall Street to boost rate of user growth

Twitter is under increasing pressure from investors to boost the rate of user growth. The company is hoping that this feature will make the service more appealing to new users, but it will be months before anyone knows whether it has made a significant difference to the rate of user growth.