The Android Twitter app has always felt second-rate when compared to the iOS version. However, the Android version has one unique and amazing feature, which is Highlights. This is a clever system. You simply find around 12 tweets that you though were best and have them in a scrolling list, displayed horizontally. This means that you can quickly get up to date with those you follow. It’s not unlike the other Twitter Discovery, only much better.
If you want to see the tweets you have missed, you have two options. First, you can use the ‘while you were away’, which are all found in your timeline. This is available on Android and iOS. However, Highlights is unique to Android.
Highlights notifies you about the most interesting stuff from the day, tailored just for you. Your Highlights are based on a number of different factors.
Unfortunately, it is likely that Twitter will change things soon so that iOS and Android are the same. You can only hope that Highlights will remain, because it is great. It was locally launched in April 2015 and became globally available in September this year. It wasn’t advertised much, probably because Moments was also launched in October and that gained more attention.
If it happens in the world, it happens on Twitter. Go right to the biggest stories in the world, no matter where you are.
And Moments is proving to be very popular straight away. It is interesting for general news, but not for personal interest. And the only reason why so many have heard of it is because Moments is designed to deliver the goals Twitter has, which is to become a source of news and information.
Highlights is different, because it is so simple. It also feels like it is really part of Twitter, as it has ‘retweet’ and ‘like’ buttons and because you can get straight back into Twitter. Basically, it acts just like all other tweets, so it is easy to understand. Plus, you can ask for daily notifications to remind you to check your highlights.
The problem is that it simply isn’t clear what Twitter is today. Some see it as a news source that travels around the world. Others think it is a simple social media network for people who have a dislike of Facebook for some reason. Others still believe Twitter is trying – and failing – to become the next Facebook.
The answer seems to be, and this is what Twitter shows with Highlights, that it is all of this and more. Twitter is more than happy to admit that it is there to be different things to each individual user. It wants to offer a little bit of everything and it feels that it is delivering on that. Highlights is a perfect example of this, as it follows the general layout and idea of Twitter, while at the same time being much more targeted.
If you own an Android device, you should immediately install the official Twitter app. This will give you the opportunity to take a good look at Highlights and what it is. Meanwhile, we can only hope that the next time Twitter makes some huge unexpected changes, they will leave Highlights alone. In fact, many are now campaigning to ask Twitter to add it to their iOS app as well, as the feature is so beneficial.
Twitter continues to struggle, although they have had a boost in active users after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Listening to their users, who are clearly stating that they love Moments but also want to keep Highlights, may be very important.