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Twitter launches email summary, misses the point of itself

The problem with Twitter, it appears, is the risk of missing something important when you’re not constantly refreshing your feed of 140-character-or-less messages from friends, family and famous folk. If that’s something you’ve had trouble with in the past, here’s the good news: Twitter is going to take care of that for you. Here’s the bad: It’ll mean another email in your inbox.

The company today launched a weekly email digest of what it’s calling “the most relevant Tweets and stories shared by the people you’re connected to” on the social service. The email seems to work in a similar way to the recently-launched Discover tab summarizing links and Tweets not only from your own follow list, but also those who are followed by those you follow (Think “Friend of a Friend,” but for Twitter), with each headline a link taking the reader directly to the Tweet or story in question.

While the email’s creation does create a second channel for the company to reach users – and, potentially more importantly for the company, a second channel in which users can be exposed to sponsored Tweets or other forms of advertising – it also dilutes the Twitter brand by taking it outside of its traditional (and specialized) channel and pushing it towards what seems an already existing area. What separates this service from Summify’s offering, for example, other than the frequency (And, for that matter, wouldn’t a daily summary email seem more timely than a weekly one)?

The email summary service will be rolled out over “the next few weeks” according to the blog post announcement. For those who don’t wish to receive what could seem like spam on a weekly basis, there’s the opportunity to opt out via the site’s Notification Settings tab.