Twitter launches ‘Highlight’ feature to draw in more users


Twitter seems to be taking hints from Facebook. On Thursday, the social networking company announced a feature called Highlights which is somewhat like Facebook’s News Feeds, is designed to bring in user’s information to display relevant content and avoid users from being overwhelmed with information.


Twitter on its blog has posted, “While your home timeline is a great place to browse through and engage tweets, we know it can be challenging to find the time to get through everything. Highlights will send users a push notifications that opens up a new view in Twitter’s app with many tweets that have been prioritized by importance. It is summarized from popular accounts and conversations that are followed with topics and events that are trending. Twitter observes the users that are closely linked and account that one might follow and collects tweets from them.

The highlights feature is currently available for devices running Google’s Android mobile operating system and are delivered to a user’s smartphone via push notification. Users go through highlighted tweets and ultimately end up at their twitter timeline. The feature, “lets you catch up quickly on the best stuff that is most relevant to you.”

Enabling Highlights in Twitter is quite simple. User has to head to Settings, select your account handle, go to the mobile notifications menu and check the Highlights box. “we are refining the experience on Android first and will consider bringing Highlights to other platforms in the future,” Twitter’s Gorden Luk wrote.

The Highlights feature is the latest addition in the array of changes prior Twitter’s first-quarter earnings report on April 28. Previously, the company launched an opt-in feature that lets users get direct messages from users they do not follow. It also released Periscope, an app that allow users to live stream video to the site. It had recently modified its US homepage for the people who are not registered on the site to have a look at the series of popular tweets.

On the bigger picture the company has been trying various ways to generate more revenue and attract more users. It has also been trying to convince Wall Street  that it has a larger audience than just the monthly active users it publishes number about. During the time of announcing the fourth-earning, the Wall Street expected Twitter to announce its number of users as 295  million whereas the company announced 288 million active users.

Gartner Research Director Brian Blau claimed that this new feature could draw in more user who want to avoid being crowded with endless stream of tweets. “It is going to help those who really are not into Twitter, those lurkers who have an account but are not participating all of the time,” Blau said. “This potentially could be nice feature and maybe will prompt more engagement,” he added.