This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.
Twitter is making changes in order to appeal to a larger audience and drag new people into using the service. iOS users are reporting that they are now seeing a feature that recaps important tweets that may have been missed called, “While You Were Away”
OMG, it appears Twitter is testing a Facebook-like algorithm for the Home stream called "While you were away…" pic.twitter.com/CpQQMLp0VO
— Eli Langer (@EliLanger) December 31, 2014
The feature was first announced back in November however it is only rolling out now to iOS users who are using the official Twitter app. It is a simple recaps of tweets that are relevant to you that you may have otherwise skipped over or missed when you were gone. Twitter has not explained how the algorithm works, the only explanation that has been offered up so far is;
We can use information like who you follow and what you engage with to surface highlights of what you missed and show those to you as soon as you log back in or come back to the app.
Unlike Facebook’s timeline, Twitter is not getting rid of the chronological order of tweets that makes the service so appealing. Like with any new feature, the jury is out on whether the new Twitter feature is a good or a bad thing.
People hate change, there was much resistance to the new profile pages in 2014, however as it turned out, they were actually good for you as they allowed people to see highlighted content and key information at a glance. So why is Twitter doing this?
Well the new feature is in line with what Twitter ex-CEO Evan Williams said in an interview with GigaOM several years ago: “What we need to get much better at is scaling the system so you don’t have to pay attention to everything, but you don’t miss the stuff you care about.”
‘While You Were Away’ is an attempt to make Twitter’s avalanche of content easier for people to absorb however it may alienate some of the core audience at the same time – the power users who like total control over their timeline.
Lets face it, how many people automatically scroll to the top of their timeline every morning when you wake up and ignore all those tweets that were made while you slept? I know I do, Twitter’s new feature may not be such a bad thing. 2015 is due to be a big year for Twitter as they attempt to draw more people into the service and at the same time keep their own identity and what makes them stand out from others.
The feature is currently iOS only for US users however a global rollout is expected soon. Twitter also rolled out mobile analytics before Christmas in the US however a global rollout is on hold due to technical issues.
@LawLeague yes we had some issues with global rollout. U.S. Only now, global very soon! Hang tight!
— Ian Chan (@chanian) January 5, 2015
About The Author
Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis, he is also a proud father of his bearded dragon, Lola. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here.