Yesterday Twitter revealed its new weekly email digest feature, which summarizes the “most relevant” Tweets and stories shared by the people you’re connected to on Twitter in a tight little package sent to you by email. (In the company blog post, Twitter’s growth and international director Othman Laraki described it as being similar to Twitter’s “Discover” tab found on the top bar, designed by the social network earlier this month.)
So how did our first experience play out? Not without a little self-reflection. Right around the third Amaretto Sour, much to our excitement, we got the following subject line dropped in our inbox from one of our (increasingly many) micro-interest Twitters:
“Ashton Kutcher, Scott Sage, and 4 others have Tweets for you.”
Kutcher’s tweet was about how World of Warcraft players are more incestuous than those other horny people from non-WOW gaming communes (no surprise there) and Sage’s was the Bloomberg ranking of highest and cheapest gas prices per country. With Norway ($9.69/gal) vs Venezuela ($0.09/gal), it was interesting, but nothing we’d retweet. Wells Riley (the guy behind the oft-swooned-over Startups, This is What Design Is) led us to Dropbox’s new “Dropquest” Scavenger Hunt, but we’d already seen that on TechCrunch. Boo.
So yes, it caught our eye. But it didn’t really lead to any particularly interesting content.
A post-Summify newsletter to take on the responsibly of Twitter curation? Really?
Is this Twitter’s fault or the anomic state of our increasingly irrelevant Twitter feeds? We couldn’t decide on the first go-round. Look’s like this feature’s going to force us to reevaluate a few things more than that weekly shrink appointment we cancelled…
Maybe this means the end of Summify…
Just four months ago, Twitter acquired Canadian start-up Summify, a service that sends you an email summarizing the top stories from your Twitter as well as Facebook feed and other services like Google Reader. Following the acquisition, Summify sent an email to users saying the service would eventually discontinue. According to the LA Times, Twitter declined to comment on whether this new service meant the end of Summify.
Because you see not only the popular tweets from people you follow, but also those seen by those you follow, we ended up getting stuff we weren’t really interested in, particularly in the “Tweets” section. See below. (The first tweet we didn’t like, then we liked it, then we just thought, “Wait, that’s so me.”)
As for the usability of the widget, the new feature couldn’t feel simpler or more indulgent.
Not only can you see who from your network retweeted or favorited the Tweets and click “View details” to retweet, you can also favorite, reply or view the conversation around them. All headlines are hyperlinked so you can finish reading the story, tweet directly from the email, and see related Tweets from the people you follow. These details are very useful, but we’d still prefer to get this update somewhere else than email. Can’t Twitter find a way to creme our crop internally?
So how do you get rid of it if you don’t want it?
Head to your “Notifications”, and uncheck the last box. Are we going to? Na, we like it.
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