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#RIPTwitter? Stocks Hit All-time Low Following User Outrage over Changes

Tim Maytom

jack dorsey twitterTwitter has hardly been in a good position for the past year or so, what with slowing user growth, changing leadership and underwhelming new products. But the weekend saw the troubled company take its biggest hits yet, with its stock falling to an all-time low as "#RIPTwitter" trending on its own site.

The turmoil was triggered by a BuzzFeed report which suggested that Twitter may soon be switching to an "algorithmic" method of displaying tweets, with content more relevant to users shown first as opposed to the reverse-chronological order currently used.

While the change has been rumoured for a long while now, this seeming confirmation caused uproar on Twitter as users complained that the change would result in the social network becoming too close to Facebook, and ruin the "real-time" news feed that had distinguished the platform in the first place.

On Saturday afternoon, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to the network to address people's fears, tweeting that "we never planned to reorder timelines next week" and claiming that "Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time. Twitter is about who & what you follow. And Twitter is here to stay! By coming more Twitter-y (sic)".

However, the reaction was severe enough to send stock prices tumbling to their lowest ever, which in turn sparked more speculation that Twitter may soon become the target of an acquisition by another firm.

While there are certainly a large number of Twitter users who don't want to see changes in how the social network operates, changing to a relevance-led model for its timeline could actually reverse some of the damage that has seen Twitter put in such a precarious situation.

Some analysts argue that an algorithm-driven timeline may help encourage casual users, reigniting the slowing user growth that has seen investors in Twitter so nervous about its future. However, given the vocal reaction by existing users, we'll have to see whether Twitter's leadership have been scared off from taking such a bold move to turn around the company's ailing fortunes.