Twitter is set to release a new feature called Highlights in an attempt to draw people who do not want to spend the entire day refreshing their feeds. Highlights curates -once in the morning and once in the evening—about a dozen of the tweets it deems the most interesting and packages them into a personalized digest. Highlights uses an algorithm like the one that guides the Facebook’s news feed or what Facebook tried implementing with Facebook Home.
Twitter’s Android app will push the personal digest directly to the list of notifications from major apps on a user’s smartphone. Tapping the notification brings up the Highlights digest, not the full Twitter feed. Once you swipe your way into Highlights, it doesn’t quite look or feel like Twitter especially with the hundreds of tweets even with a few followers. The dozen or so tweets are arranged in order of supposed importance, not by time stamp. Each one is displayed on a full screen with any associated photos or videos placed above the text, flipping the usual Twitter emphasis on the 140 characters and keeping individual tweets from feeling like part of a feed.
Highlights comes in the backdrop of the instant timeline feature added in January that automatically builds Twitter feeds for new users who agree to give it access to their smartphone contact lists. Twitter also added “While you were away” feature that push a handful of the most popular tweets you missed to the top of your feed when you log in.