Twitter has been looking for new ways to boost user engagement and it seems a new feature – a ‘While you were away’ recap of tweets you may have mised – is rolling out to many users worldwide.
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This is the first major non-chronological feature to be added on Twitter.
The feature was spotted by Eli Langer, Social Media Manager for CNBC:
OMG, it appears Twitter is testing a Facebook-like algorithm for the Home stream called “While you were away…” pic.twitter.com/CpQQMLp0VO
— Eli (@EliLanger) December 31, 2014
Twitter did not explain much more about the new feature but simply stated:
Every time you open the Twitter app, you’ll see something great.
Of course reactions have been diverse with some users welcoming the new feature and others not seeing why they should be reading older tweets.
Love the ‘While You Were Away’ feature at Twitter. Achieves its purpose without affecting real time news feed!
— Samir Selman (@selman) December 30, 2014
That twitter ‘while you were away’ thing just means I tweet people three days in delay!?! What is it’s purpose!?!??
— and_ (@and_armstrong) December 30, 2014
Truth is that the success of ‘While you were away’ will greatly depends on the algorithm that Twitter uses to source your “best” tweets. A recap can only be useful if Twitter pulls out tweets we really want to read.
It seems the new feature is not yet available to all users but the significant rollout indicates it should be widely available very soon. A few users even reported having the feature since early December.