Twitter Inc New Feature ‘While You Were Away’ Debuts On iOS

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Twitter is worried that its users might miss important tweets. Therefore, to help its users keep track of important tweets, the firm has come up with a new feature that will help users recapitulate missed tweets. As of now, the feature is just available for iOS users, but it will soon be rolled out to Android as well.

Benefits of the new feature from Twitter

The new feature ‘While you were away’ was announced in November last year. The feature, initially rolled out by the company earlier this year, is based on an algorithm that makes use of engagement and other user habits to display the top tweets in the iOS app’s feed.

Given users are not logged into the app all the time, there is a high probability of missing many of the tweets that were made while they were offline. The top tweets made since the app was opened last will be displayed in the feed rather than showing a chronological list of the tweets made most recently. Twitter announced that the goal behind the feature is that since important tweets get lost in the flood of numerous posts, the new feature will help dig up the important ones.

Is it similar to Facebook?

Facebook has a similar feature that makes use of an algorithm for picking up posts to be shown in the news feed, but the selected posts are curated based on the preferences of users. Kevin Weil, the Vice President of Twitter, does not agree with the comparison being made, and points out the differences between the two. Weil told the New York Times that the chronology is ignored by Facebook, whereas Twitter’s focus is more on real-time experiences.

Twitter said in an announcement that frequent users of the app will see minimal effect from the change as frequent users have little to catch up on. “If you check in on Twitter now and then for a quick snapshot of what’s happening, you’ll see this recap more often; if you spend a lot of time on Twitter already, you’ll see it less,” the company’s blog post noted. The feature cannot be turned off, but it can be dismissed by the user according to an article in the New York Times.

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