Technology

Twitter Please Don’t Kill Highlights on Android Ever

The Twitter experience on iOS is so good it can make the Android version feel a little second-class. But Twitter’s Android version comes with one special feature that makes the overall experience quite joyful, says Dieter Bohn of The Verge.

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‘Highlights’ – what makes it different

Twitter’s Android version has a feature called ‘Highlights,’ which works on the simple idea of finding the dozen or so best tweets either from the day before or from a user’s feed, and putting them in a list. This helps the users in getting a quick idea of what people they follow have been doing recently.

The feature is especially useful for people who do not log into Twitter very frequently. It works somewhat like the old Twitter Discover tab, but without ads and follow suggestions.

Twitter has two ways of showing users tweets they missed. The first is the ‘while you were away’ feature, which directly sticks a box of tweets into a user’s timeline. This feature is available to both iOS and Android users, but it isn’t as useful as ‘Highlights,’ which has been given a separate section on Android and has a clearer presentation, says Bohn.

For Twitter – ‘Moments’ is more important

English-speaking users got access to this feature in April of this year, while it was launched globally in September. But the micro-blogging firm hasn’t given it very much of a marketing push, instead a newer feature called Moments, launched last month, stole all the attention, says Bohn.

‘Moments’ is a curated set of tweets, and has been well received so far. However, Bohn does not use it much as Twitter chooses all the source material for Moments without giving any regards to the target audience. The Moments app acts as a general news source, Bohn says.

‘Moments’ is more important to Twitter from the strategic point of view, and that is why it has been made into a top-level button on the app. That’s why it gets more attention, Bohn says.

Still, Bohn loves Highlights for the fact that it is “dead simple: Twitter knows you missed a bunch of popular tweets from your feed, so it shows them to you.” The feature is also more “native to Twitter than Moments.”

At the end, Bohn urges Android users to use the feature more as he feels Twitter might kill it going forward, and “maybe a few more people using it will keep Twitter from doing that.”