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Twitter launches 'while you were away' feature for iOS; other platforms, website to follow suit

twitter-bird-white-on-blueMicro blogging service Twitter has introduced a new feature to its user's home timelines. Called 'while you were away', the feature basically provides a recap of some of the top Tweets they might have missed from accounts they follow.

The micro blogging service will surface a few of the best Tweets users probably wouldn't have seen otherwise, determined by their engagement and other factors. According to the company, if you check in on Twitter now and then for a quick snapshot of what's happening, you will see this recap more often. However, if you spend a lot of time on Twitter already, you will see it less.

"Our goal is to help you keep up (or catch up) with your world, no matter how much time you spend on Twitter. With a few improvements to the home timeline we think we can do a better job of delivering on that promise without compromising the real time nature of Twitter," wrote Paul Rosania, product manager at Twitter.

Note that recaps marked with a 'while you were away' heading will begin to appear on Twitter for only iOS users as of now. The company is planning to launch the same on its Android app and Twitter.com soon.

Facebook already offers a similar feature in its 'news feed', wherein the social networking site showcases status updates in terms of their importance, instead of in chronological order.

Tweet translation

Starting today, the micro blogging service is also introducing Tweet translation in order to allow its users to read Tweets in multiple languages. Users can choose when they want to see a translation for a Tweet, and they can also adjust their settings so the option to view Tweet translations is disabled.

The company has partnered with Microsoft's Bing Translator to provide machine translations of Tweets in 40 languages, including Hindi and Urdu, among others.

Interestingly, the company itself also admits that some of the translations are low in quality.

"Although Bing Translator relies on advanced translation software to provide Tweet translations, the results still vary and often fall below the accuracy and fluency of translations provided by a professional translator. For this reason, the original text is always displayed above its translation," the company said.

As of now, Tweet translation is available on Twitter.com, TweetDeck, as well as on its iOS and Android applications.

Earlier this week, Twitter had acquired multiple venture capital firms-backed ZipDial Mobile Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs a missed call-based customer engagement platform ZipDial, for an undisclosed amount. This marked its first acquisition in India and added its name to the list of deals where international firms have snapped Indian startups and thereby providing an exit route to VC firms. Although deal size was not disclosed, separate media reports pegged it at $30-40 million.

The company had also recently appointed Taranjeet Singh as the head of sales for its Indian operations.

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