Twitter has just released the source code for its recommendation algorithm, breaking down what factors it looks at to determine which Tweets to feature in your “For You” timeline.
Here are the 10 biggest things we’ve learnt about Twitter’s algorithm and what you need to be doing to go viral:
Surprisingly, Likes are actually the highest valued ranking factor in Twitter’s algorithm, boosting your Tweets by 30x, meaning it’s much more impactful to earn Likes on your Tweets than Retweets (20x boost) or Replies (1x boost).
The algorithm gives your account a “Reputation Score”, so make sure your content isn’t offensive or harmful, as getting blocked, muted, reported, and getting unfollowed will all cause the algorithm to downrank your content.
Twitter will also downrank your content if you use too many hashtags, which is particularly surprising when you consider that hashtags actually started on Twitter. Use a maximum of 1 hashtag on your Tweets, or better, none at all.
If you mention things that are currently trending in your Tweets, the algorithm will boost your content, so make sure to stay up to date on what’s trending.
Tweets that include images and videos will be boosted 2x more in the algorithm than content that doesn’t.
Generally, unless you have really high engagement, Tweets with external links will be marked as spam and will be downranked.
Twitter will downrank your account if have a low number of followers but a high number of followings, so make sure to unfollow accounts that you don’t actually care about.
Tweets with words that Twitter doesn’t recognise, such as made-up words and misspelt words, will cause your Tweet to be majorly downranked.
Twitter will categorize your account into a group of similar accounts based on your content. If you post about topics “outside of your network,” the algorithm will downrank that content.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter Blue subscribers get a 2-4x boost on their tweets depending on whether the viewer is in the same network/niche as them.