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Twitter for iOS Updated With Highlights Timeline and More

Also including welcome messages and quick replies for conversations with businesses
Digital Communicator
November 2, 2016

Amid its widely publicized woes (its recent layoffs and imminent shutting-down of Vine, to name a couple), Twitter appears intent on coming up with new ways of improving the experience it offers, whether for regular users or businesses. Case in point is its rollout of its Highlights feature along with a couple of enhancements for customer service direct messages.

Highlights timeline

Highlights timeline

For nearly two years, Twitter has been showing a “While you were away” segment in its official iOS app to show several tweets that users might have missed while they were away from the social network.

Learn more about 'While you were away'

Now, it has also added to the app a similar feature called Highlights.


Highlights is a sort of digest of interesting tweets that’s tailored to you based on certain factors such as conversations among people you follow, popular tweets from accounts in your network, and the latest news and hottest topics. When a new personalized summary of noteworthy tweets becomes available, you’ll receive a push notification saying that new Highlights are ready for you to see and indicating some of the featured accounts. You can then simply tap the notification to view the Highlights timeline.

Algorithmic timelines tend to get a bad rap. But Highlights does provide a way to discover or catch up on interesting content on Twitter that you might otherwise not see at all.


How to enable Highlights

In the Twitter app, tap the Me tab.

Tap the gear icon.

Tap Settings.

Tap Notifications.

Tap Push Notifications.

Next to Highlights, tap the switch to turn it on.

Tap Done.

Welcome messages and quick replies

Welcome messages and quick replies

Along with Highlights, Twitter has rolled out a couple of new features for direct messages between businesses and customers: welcome messages and quick replies.

As the name suggests, welcome messages let businesses greet customers who initiate direct message conversations by tapping on the Message button in business profiles. According to Twitter, “Businesses can create multiple welcome messages and deep link directly to a specific greeting from Tweets, websites, or apps.” A good example of a welcome message is one where the business thanks the customer for reaching out and then provides available options for engagement.

And speaking of options, those could be tied with quick replies, which let businesses prompt customers with ways to reply to direct messages. They could range from replies that ask questions about specific product details to instructions for entering certain types of text like tracking numbers.

Both welcome messages and quick replies are, er, welcome improvements since they might potentially contribute to making, well, quick work out of conversations and transactions between businesses and customers.

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