Los Angeles -- Barely days after releasing significant updates to its iPhone and Android apps, the popular micro-blogging outfit Twitter on Tuesday announced that it launched a new version of its “Discover” tab, which will attempt to present relevant news stories to users, based on tweets from people followed by the primary account holder, a blog post by Twitter Vice President Satya Patel announced this morning.
According to the post, the newly released feature will pay attention to 'additional personalization signals' to figure out which stories to display, rather than simply showing users what is trending. Presumably, these signals include which accounts a user is following, what topics a user tends to retweet, and perhaps the content of a user's own tweets. Speaking at a Wired conference, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that the new #Discover feature currently only uses the list of who you follow as its personalization signals.
Moreover, the update is will be rolled out gradually to Web users accessing Twitter.com, as well as those who use the Android and iOS versions of the Twitter app. The process will take weeks, Twitter said.
In fact, “This update is part of our continuous progression of Discover; we will continue to work to make discovery on Twitter a magical experience that brings you instantly closer to the information that matters most to you at the right time, any time,” Satya Patel, vice president of product for Twitter, said in a blog post.
The recommendations are based on which news stories users follow, as well as who those users follow, Patel wrote.
Further describing the new feature, Patel noted, “The Discover tab's new design shows who tweeted about particular stories,' he said. “You can click 'View Tweets' on any story to see popular Tweets from your network or recent, relevant Tweets directly below the story summary. This social context helps you understand why each story matters to you and makes it easier to join the conversation. You can reply, retweet or favorite these Tweets, or you can 'Tweet this story' to share your own perspective.”
The current design of the Discover tab empowers users to effortlessly find related tweets based on topics that appear, and it makes it easy to add one's own comments.
Apart from several new features, a quick look at the current Twitter.com shows how much better the page could be with personalization. More so, the Discover page this morning showed trending topics, including a useful story about Research In Motion's Blackberry, but also something about Jessica Simpson and a tweet in Spanish.