Twitter is changing up how your timeline is populated. Instead of just showing tweets from people you follow, Twitter will now let you follow certain topics/subjects that show tweets from people you don’t follow.
The idea of the new Topics feature is similar to Instagram allowing users to follow hashtags. At first, Twitter will let you follow around 300 topics, and the list is expected to expand in the future. Politics isn’t a topic you can follow just yet, though, and that’s probably because Twitter doesn’t want to get itself involved in another political controversy.
Either way, the new Topics feature works pretty simply: you follow a topic, and relevant tweets from that topic will start showing up on your main timeline. Twitter picks what tweets show up based on a the tweet creator’s credibility, and the number of interactions it has received. Twitter will also show more tweets from topics to those who don’t follow a lot of people, while others who follow a lot of accounts will see fewer tweets from topics.
Twitter told The Verge that the company is testing other new features like the ability to mute topics. And in the future, Twitter could even let users tweet only to the followers of a certain topic — meaning only the followers of a topic will see those tweets, while your actual account followers won’t be able to see it. That could be a major feature and change how Twitter works, but it will probably take a long while to actually become a reality.