Twitter unveils new TweetDeck-powered custom timeline feature

twitter starts testing promoted videos in ad expansion ipo 610x354

The flurry of IPO news isn’t stopping Twitter from releasing new features. Today, the network announced a handful of updates, most notable among them being custom timelines. Up until this point, there were really just a few “types” of timelines: a user’s, the general feed, or timelines from any lists you’d created. Now you’ll have much more control with a custom view.

“You name it, and choose the tweets you want to add to it, either by hand or programmatically using the API…” Twitter explains via its developer blog. “This means that when the conversation around an event or topic takes off on Twitter, you have the opportunity to create a timeline that surfaces what you believe to be the most noteworthy, relevant tweets.”

These custom timelines are public – and from the looks of the initial examples, they’re being sold as complementary pieces to TV and Web event coverage. For instance, Twitter says Carson Daly has a custom timeline as a companion piece to tonight’s episode of The Voice. The Guardian is planning to host a Q&A session soon, and a custom timeline will be created from the most notable content from the discussion.

carson day custom timeline

One of the biggest surprises in all this is that Twitter is not killing off its nearly-forgotten music project. “Twitter #music has created new timelines that present the very best tweets from superstars, best songs with tracks you can play right in the tweet, and the best music Vines.”

The launch is the product of Twitter’s TweetDeck acquisition, and the option will roll out slowly to TweetDeck users – for now, it might expand to the regular Twitter client depending on how intial use goes. Make no mistake, this is definitely a power user feature; media types and Web publishers will be able to access Twitter massive firehose of tweets in order to create sidebar conversations to their own content. Think the Super Bowl, NBA Playoffs, American Idol finales, government elections, presidential debates, the Olympics; these are the types of events that media will take advantage of custom timelines for.

This might bring Storify to mind. Custom timelines may have effectively just displaced the popular topic-focus tweet collecting service (although Storify does pull in content from other social networks, so it’s not Twitter specific). Twitter is allowing users more and more features within what’s traditional been a rather simple service, and definitely catering these tools to the marketing and media types that have become the pulse of the platform.

Product Review

Thanks to A.I. autofocus, Sony's A6400 makes professional results a breeze

The A6400 continues Sony's approach of forging ahead with technological advancements while leaving an unrefined user experience unchanged. Still, you won't find a better camera for under $1,000.
Computing

Latest ransomware targets gamers with a malicious sophistication

The latest piece of ransomware, Anatova, has been discovered by the security team at McAfee. Employing a smart tactic to confuse users and able to clean its tracks as it evolves, this is one tough piece of ransomware.
Social Media

Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in October

Google confirmed that it will begin retiring the classic Google Hangouts app in October. The company will start by pushing users to move to the new Google Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
Home Theater

Spotify adds artist-blocking feature, despite its denials

Though it continues to claim you can't do it, there is plenty of evidence that Spotify added an artist-blocking feature to its platform, making it easy for users to never hear a specific musician or band.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.