Twitter, in recent times, has released several new features and initiatives to boost user engagement, and on New Year’s Eve, it released one more called “While you were away.” This feature has been designed with the purpose of giving users a recap of the tweets they missed while they were away.

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Handy for not-so-frequent Twitter users

The new feature has been made live for selective users as of now, but it is expected to be live for all users soon, as it has already been rolled out to a large number of Twitter users. The feature was first noticed on New Year’s Eve by Eli Langer of CNBC on the mobile version of the Twitter app. In the first week of December itself, the said feature was rolled out to some users for testing purposes.

The success of this app largely depends on the algorithm used for sourcing the best tweets from a user’s friends. This feature is handy for people who do not log into their Twitter accounts on a regular basis.

Will it help Twitter?

The new feature is very similar to Facebook’s Timeline feature, and for Twitter, it is the first major non-chronological feature. The company had announced plans to introduce such a feature in November when it said the best tweets from a user’s network will be handpicked to make sure they are not missed by the user.

Whenever a user opens the Twitter app, he or she will get to see something great, said the micro-blogging site earlier. The feature was announced along with another feature called “Instant Timeline,” which is expected sometime early this year.

“We’re experimenting with better ways to give you what you come to Twitter for: a snapshot of what’s happening,” the company’s VP of Product, Kevin Weil, said in a blog post in November.

It remains to be seen whether this new feature and others to come will help Twitter close the gap in its user base with Facebook, which has over 1.35 billion monthly users compared to 284 million for Twitter.