Twitter on Wednesday officially announced its new ‘while you were way’ feature, designed to provide users with a recap of ‘important’ tweets they might’ve missed while away from the service.

The social media site has been pushing the feature to a limited number of users since the start of this month, but evidently now feels happy to go ahead with a full-scale launch.

Twitter product manager Paul Rosania promised the new recap feature will “surface a few of the best tweets you probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise, determined by engagement and other factors.”

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As you’d expect, if you’re the type who can’t go more than a few minutes without checking your Twitter timeline, you’ll notice the feature less. However, if you can go several hours or longer (can you? really?) without posting a tweet or catching up on your followers’ updates, you’ll likely notice it more.

Rosania said the idea is to “help you keep up – or catch up – with your world….without compromising the real-time nature of Twitter.”

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No doubt the company will be looking closely at the reaction of users to the new feature. Some will likely take unkindly to having their timeline tampered with, though for occasional users who follow a lot of people, it could well prove a popular addition to the service. Much will depend on the effectiveness of the algorithm surfacing the tweets.

Recaps are clearly marked with a “while you were away” heading, and iOS users who haven’t opened the app for a while should start seeing the feature from today. Android users will have to wait a little longer, though Rosania promises it’s coming to the platform “soon.”

[Source: Twitter]