Twitter recently began testing an algorithm that can spot abusive tweets that you might not want to see, and now it's using similar technologies to find the ones you do. Twitter just announced a new feature called Highlights that serves up a twice-a-day digest of tweets that have been picked out for users. On Android, which Twitter says will be the first platform to get it, Highlights will send people a push notification that opens up a new view in Twitter's app with about a dozen tweets that have been ordered by importance (not chronologically). Users swipe to the left or right to browse them, then can resume using Twitter normally.
Twitter says the digest, which requires opting in, is curated from popular accounts and conversations from people that are followed, along with topics and events that are trending. It also gathers tweets from people it believes you're closely tied to, and from accounts that your friends might follow.
"We know it can be challenging to find the time to get through everything."
There are obvious comparisons to be made between Highlights and some of the things Facebook's done to make its news feed feel like something you can visit only occasionally and not feel like you've missed anything. Twitter's had the rather unique distinction of serving as a real-time feed of what's going on, but that very same aspect can also make it feel like you've missed huge chunks of information when you're not watching it all day. "While your home timeline is a great place to browse through and engage with Tweets, we know it can be challenging to find the time to get through everything," admitted Twitter software engineer Gordon Luk in the company's blog post announcing the feature.
Luk says the feature will be Android-only for now so that that the company can begin "refining the experience," but that Twitter's considering bringing it to other platforms.