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Twitter will send alerts to your phone about popular people and their tweets

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Twitter will begin sending new push notifications to users based on the activity of the people they follow, whether it's a new account or a popular tweet. Based on Twitter's 6-month-old MagicRecs account, the notifications will begin rolling out to users of Twitter's iPhone and Android apps. When a group of people you follow all follow the same person, or favorite or retweet the same tweet, the notification will appear in your account.

MagicRecs has a relatively small number of followers, but it has become popular among journalists and other Twitter obsessives for its ability to serve as a kind of global news alert system. When a person is in the news, that person's Twitter account often gets followed by a number of people simultaneously — and Twitter can now surface that news through a notification, even when you don't follow the person. It's personalized, powerful, and has won praise for its high signal-to-noise ratio.

A global news alert system

The MagicRecs account tends to be fairly conservative, sending followers one to two tweets a day. You can opt out of receiving the recommendations while continuing to receive other notifications, Twitter said. But it wouldn't be surprising to see notifications like these become a popular part of the core experience, helping to surface items of interest without the user having to take any action. And in the meantime, Twitter says, they'll continue experimenting with MagicRecs..