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Twitter Launches ‘While You Were Away’

Twitter, Have It Your Way

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Twitter has launched its ‘While You Were Away’ feature which was initially announced earlier this month. This new feature is designed to make sure that you see all of the top tweets that you weren't around for in between your uses of the app. It’s currently only rolling out for iOS apps, but Twitter have assured us that it will be hitting Android and their website in the near future.

‘While You Were Away’ is quite a simple feature. It’s essentially just a smarter way to organise what tweets you see when you return to your app. 

As your feed stands now, when you return to it after a time away, it will just show you all of the tweets that have been made in a chronological order and we all know that sifting through all that can be a nightmare. With this new feature, the app will also give you a selection of the top tweets that were made based on a clever algorithm which will factor in your engagement with others and your normal tweeting habits.

So if you love getting your daily dose of Liverpool FC news and they drop a popular tweet about Suarez coming back it’ll be one of the top tweets when you check back in on the app. (Suarez isn't really coming back, pack it up boys.)

This all sounds very similar to how just about every news feed is handled. Though they’re often quite quick to assume what it is that you want to see. I remember awhile ago my friend got matched with an old school friend of mine on Tinder. I checked my Facebook to see if I was friends with the match. Turns out I was. All of a sudden Facebook decided that I was to see every status update she made from then on. That friendship was terminated quickly.

However, Twitter’s Vice President said that their algorithm will prove to be more real time than Facebook’s. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out. I imagine it will just be a touch more of the same, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  

Either way, this feature is something that I’m really happy to see implemented. I often check my Twitter just a handful of times every day and so a way to make those check-ups as interesting and worthwhile as possible is great.

Thanks, Twitter. 



Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and he currently manages, edits and writes for this blog. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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Twitter Launches ‘While You Were Away’ Reviewed by Tom Welby on Friday, January 23, 2015 Rating: 5
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