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January 2, 2015

Twitter Rolling Out ‘While You Were Away’ Feature to Mixed Reviews

Twitter appears to be emulating Facebook with its new ‘While you were away’ feature that has slowly been rolling out to U.S. users of the microblogging site.

‘While you were away’ is similar to Facebook’s Timeline in that it offers up a list of what it deems to be the best tweets a user missed while logged out.

The new feature should come as no surprise to Twitter users. CEO Dick Costolo outlined a number of changes in the works back in November at an analyst day event.

Twitter’s vice-president of product Kevin Weil talked about the change in a November blog post as well.

“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,” he said.

“For instance, we’re experimenting with better ways to give you what you come to Twitter for: a snapshot of what’s happening. We can use information like who you follow and what you engage with to surface highlights of what you missed and show those to you as soon as you log back in or come back to the app.”

Although the ‘While you were away’ feature rolled out to a small number of users at the beginning of December, more users reported seeing the feature on their timelines in late December.

As usual there is a lot of criticism of the new feature:

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But some users seem to appreciate the change:

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It is likely Twitter will eventually roll out the feature to all users, although the social network has yet to make any official announcements.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.