The micro-blogging site Twitter rolled out the ‘While you were away’ feature to users which shows the ‘best tweets’ that the user may have missed since their last logon. It appears at the top of the timeline and is Twitter’s first non-chronological feature.
The company said in a blog post in October, “There are times when you might miss out on Tweets we think you’d enjoy. To help you keep up with what’s happening, we’ve been testing ways to include these Tweets in your timeline — ones we think you’ll find interesting or entertaining.”
The new feature is very similar to Facebook’s News Feed, as it collates the most interesting content so that it stands out in the Timeline, unlike the earlier nature of the Timeline which only allowed the most recent content to appear on it.
In a blog post, the company said, “We’re exploring ways to surface relevant Tweets so the content that is interesting to you is easy to discover – whether you stay on Twitter all day or visit for a few minutes – while still preserving the real-time nature of the platform that makes Twitter special.”
It would be interesting to note how this feature can work in favour of brands as it means getting more attention for tweets if they are interesting and engaging enough. Brands can use this feature to bring about more engagement from users as this will make sure that the users get to see the most interesting tweets from the brands they follow even when they were not logged in at the time of the tweet.
Another feature that Twitter is looking to roll out in the new year is the instant timeline feature ‘for new users who don’t want to spend time cultivating one on their own’.