Very similar to the Facebook News Ticker, Twitter is rolling out real-time activity streams for selected accounts as of today. Designed to help users discover new accounts to follow, the activity feed shows who your friends have started following recently as well as retweets, the creation of new lists and tweets marked as favorite. When a user follows one or two new people at a time, the followed account appears in the activity stream with a follow button. In addition, any verified account, such as celebrity accounts, will include the blue and white check badge to denote verification. If the user follows three or more people in a day, the avatars of the new accounts will appear in the stream.
This method of interaction ideally identifies the most active within the Twitter community as well as the most worthwhile users to follow. Twitter has also applied this design to how a user keeps up with replies, retweets and follows. By clicking the @username link next to the activity feed, users can see the people that most recently followed the account in addition to locating responses to tweets more quickly. All of these are in chronological order starting with the most recent entries at the top. While popular accounts with large quantities of retweets can easily become overwhelmed with the new design of the feed, there’s a check box to isolate replies on the list and allow for organization when responding to other Twitter users.
Twitter also recently started testing a top news function that rolls out a curated method of content promotion. The design of the top news feature is also being applied to promoting new accounts and will be used to promote popular members of the Twitter community. Selections may end up being curated by internal Twitter employees.