We already know that Twitter has a feature called “Who to Follow,” where Twitter recommends accounts that it thinks you should follow using an algorithm.
However, something rather unusual was noticed on 29 August. The social media company was found suggesting accounts that you might want to unfollow. This was first reported by TheNextWeb’s Matt Navarra. The test reportedly ran for only a couple of days and has now been concluded.
Twitter is now suggesting accounts to UNFOLLOW!
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 29, 2018
Twitter wants to do this because it believes that people’s timelines can be more relevant if they unfollow the people that they do not engage with on a regular basis.
“We know that people want a relevant Twitter timeline. One way to do this is by unfollowing people they don’t engage with regularly. We ran an incredibly limited test to surface accounts that people were not engaging with to check if they’d like to unfollow them,” Twitter said in a statement to The Verge. Other publications with a statement from the company echo similar words.
We do not know whether the feature will resurface in the future, or if the company will release it officially for everyone.
The whole idea about Twitter recommending people to be unfollowed is odd, to say the least. We all have those friends and family who we'd rather not hear from, but unfollowing them might only create bigger problems for all concerned. And how would you feel if you found out that you were on someone's unfollow list? The logic of unfollowing people that we don’t engage with regularly simply to make our Twitter timeline seem more relevant does not really make sense.