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Twitter home made me miserable

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This post was originally sent to my newsletter in November, 2021. I wanted to share it here as well, just to hear some more thoughts.


Two months ago, I decided to give Twitter Home another chance: the timeline that Twitter fills using their algorithm instead of just chronologically showing tweets of people you follow. I wanted to discover interesting new people to follow and I figure Twitter would fill my feed with tweets related to my interests; based on what and who I liked, retweeted and followed over the years.

I was wrong.

After two months, I now only see tweets of:

And just to be clear, I'm not mad at any of those people; most of them actually tweet interesting stuff as well; but Twitter simply didn't show those more interesting tweets in my Home feed.

It turns out their algorithm is rather picky, especially when it comes to tweeting external sources:

On average, 51% of tweets in chronological timelines contained an external link, compared to just 18% in the algorithmic timelines

Unfortunately for me, I find external sources (blog posts, news articles, etc) often the most relevant and insightful; and Twitter deliberately filters them out when discovering new people.

So after using Twitter Home for two months, I felt genuinely miserable every time I opened my feed. I knew that almost no tweet would interest me, and I'm sad that the Twitter algorithm doesn't work better for my case. I'm sure Twitter is well aware of how their algorithm works, and I'm sure it yields the best results for the majority of their users, but I apparently don't belong in that group.

So, here's where I need your help: I really want to discover more interesting people online; people who write about PHP, webdev, and programming; people who dare to challenge ideas that we take for granted; content that makes us think outside our box.

But how do I find those people? Twitter clearly isn't the best platform and I find Reddit and HackerNews either too focussed or too broad. So what's left? Any ideas? I would very much appreciate your input!