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Twitter Now Shows You the Tweets You Missed "While You Were Away"

What did you miss since you last opened the app?

Anthony Quintano for Re/code

Twitter has always surfaced tweets in real-time — that is, you see tweets in the order in which they’re posted.

It’s great for breaking news or following live TV, but when you step away from the service for a few hours (gasp!), that’s when it’s easy to miss things.


Twitter is trying to solve that problem. It rolled out a new feature Wednesday that will surface tweets that were posted “while you were away” at the top of your timeline. Twitter has been testing this for at least a few weeks, as TechCrunch reported in late December.

The company is using a combination of time away from the app and number of tweets posted since you last logged in to determine when to show you tweets that you missed, according to a person familiar with the product. That combination will be different for each user, and Twitter is planning to tinker with the algorithm as the feature is rolled out more broadly, according to this person.

The “while you were away” feature will only pull tweets from the accounts you follow and engage with most often — not necessarily the most popular tweets on the service. In other words, Twitter is trying to predict which users you want to hear from, regardless of how popular their content is overall.

The driving force behind this feature is Twitter’s desire to boost engagement within the product. It’s not the first experiment the company has tried. Twitter already surfaces tweets into users’ timelines from people they don’t follow.

It also introduced a feature in November so people could share tweets within direct messages, a push to get people communicating more regularly within the app.

The new feature will roll out to iOS users Wednesday and launch on Android in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the plan. It will also come to Twitter’s Web version at some point in the future.

This article originally appeared on

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