Twitter favorite

Have you recently noticed people commenting on your Twitter favorites, even when you didn't (intentionally) share them with the rest of the world? You're not alone. The social network has started putting your favorites and following activity in your followers' timelines, whether or not you're mentioned -- if you really like an article, others may know right away. It's not clear whether this is an experiment or a permanent feature, and we've reached out to Twitter for the full scoop.

The exact motives for the decision aren't apparent so far, although Twitter has been taking many steps to keep people engaged with its service and generate that all-important ad revenue. Showing more than just updates and retweets could help bashful members strike up conversations. However, early feedback suggests that the company might have overstepped its bounds. Besides populating Twitter feeds with content that people didn't ask for, the move also appears to play fast and loose with privacy. Many use favorites for bookmarks and other personal reasons; they may not want to share links or clever quotes with their followers, which is what the retweet button is for. While the feature only periodically kicks in and may help you discover new content or people, there's no doubt that it irks at least some users.