Twitter changed while you were away, with new tweet recap feature

22 Jan 2015

Immediacy has always been Twitter’s bread and butter, but a new recap feature could help extend a tweet’s lifetime.

‘While you were away…’ is a new element to the social media giant’s service, whereby users who open Twitter now see a selection of the best tweets that were sent since they last checked in.

Standard popularity measurements, such as favouriting and retweets, will determine which tweets appear in a user’s feed when he or she logs into Twitter, and the recurrence of this feature will depend on how often a user employs the service.

Users who are on Twitter very regularly will see the feature less, and users who take breaks will see it more when they log back in.

While you were away...

The ‘While you were away…’ feature on Twitter allows users to catch up on tweets they would previously have missed

Twitter is in the midst of a major operational overhaul, snapping up start-ups, rolling out new features, and trying to better monetise the service.

Two weeks ago, reports said the company was on the cusp of unveiling a new Vine-like video tool for its mobile app that allows users to record and share 20-second bursts of video.

Twitter’s latest acquisition is Indian start-up Zip Dial and the company has even looked at how to better advertise its product beyond its own platform.

‘While you were away…’ is not available on Android yet – Apple gets first dibs on everything, seemingly – with the rollout on iOS having started yesterday.

Some immediate Twitter responses from users around the world have produced a mixed reaction, which is oh so Twitter.



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Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic