Twitter now alerting you to popular accounts, tweets

Twitter for iPhone and Android users will receive push notifications with recommendations for who or what to follow.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, appearing on CNBC. Screenshot by CNET

Twitter hopes to combat your fear of missing out with a new feature that notifies you when an account or tweet becomes popular in your circle of friends.

Starting Tuesday, Twitter for iPhone and Android users will receive account and tweet recommendations through push notifications, the company announced. The option is turned on by default, but people can navigate to the settings portion of their smartphone app to turn off notifications for recommendations.

"With this new feature, you'll receive personalized recommendations when multiple people in your network follow the same user or favorite or retweet the same tweet," Venu Satuluri, Twitter's senior software engineer for search and relevance, wrote in a blog post. "We hope these recommendations keep you even more connected and in the know."

The push notification feature is based around the company's experiment with @MagicRecs, an official account launched to alert people via direct message when others in their network were following a Twitter account en masse. MagicRecs has been growing in popularity with journalists who use it to stay on current on notable Twitter accounts, but the science behind the handle-turned-auto-notification feature seems aimed at helping newcomers get acclimated to the service.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has admitted in the past that the service is too difficult for newbies. The company, according to reports, may also have a churn problem on its hands, which is problematic as it makes plans to go public. Twitter has made other adjustments to make its service more approachable to first-timers. In late August, Twitter tweaked its timeline with a blue line to order conversations linked together through mentions.

 

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