Prepare to be judged by Twitter. Starting Wednesday, Feb. 20, Twitter has announced that it will begin assigning values to each and every tweet using: none, low and medium. Eventually, “high” will be rolled out as well.
The idea is that the new data, which will be publicly available, will allow developers to better sort through the millions of tweets to find the data that is useful to them. In the words of Twitter developer Arne Roomann-Kurrik: “This will allow applications to more easily surface certain types of content from otherwise noisy or high-volume feeds.”
The exact way that the tweets will be valued is a bit unclear, but it’s likely that it will work in the way that top tweets appear now during a Twitter search. For instance, tweets that are being retweeted by many people, or tweets from people with a lot of followers, will likely be assigned a higher value ranking. Likewise, that tweet about your lunchtime tuna sandwich to your 201 followers might get a “none” or “low” ranking.
Sam Laird at Mashable writes that the new development seems like it will be good for users: “It’s definitely a positive for Twitter, which will have the power to designate “high” value tweets (in some cases, perhaps, for a price) and possibly experiment with new ways of displaying tweets.”
The downside, according to Laird: “On the other hand, judging the value of tweets is a significant and unprecedented step for the company. Some could find it a bit invasive and, well, judgmental.”
Another downside: The new rating system could make it difficult for users with smaller followings to be featured, even when they have something good to say.