Over the past couple of years, with a meteoric increase in smartphone usage around the world and with the accompanying high levels of mobile data consumption, social media sites have seen their mobile app usage far outstrip their desktop site visitors. That makes it almost mandatory for these sites to roll out any feature straight to their mobile apps, sometimes even before they are rolled onto their site itself.
Twitter has been trying out new features from time to time, and in the last few days, they’ve rolled out a few changes to their site and their apps, which will affect the way users will communicate with each other. In the latest update to their Android app, Twitter has introduced a new feature – Push Notifications of messages that Twitter considers ‘important’ to a particular user. They are calling it ‘Highlights’. In an official blog post announcing this new feature, Twitter said “To create your Highlights, we look at things like the accounts and conversations that are popular among people you follow, Tweets from people you’re closely tied to, topics and events that are trending in your area or within your network, and people that are popular or trending among people you follow”.
The feature would not be turned on by default and to enable it, users would need to opt-in manually, by going into settings and checking the ‘Highlights’ box in the mobile notifications menu. The feature is being rolled out for the Android app first, but Twitter promises that “other platforms” – presumably iOS and Windows Mobile among them – will get the update at some stage sooner than later.
It was just a few days ago that Twitter had introduced another new feature, which enabled ‘Direct Messages’ to anyone and everyone on Twitter, irrespective of whether you follow them. That particular update was rolled out on Twitter’s website as well as for both Android and iOS users. There is no such official confirmation about this particular update for desktop users. Twitter has over 500 million users and it remains to be seen how they will react to these new changes.