Twitter announced yesterday it will be rolling out a weekly e-mail digest in an attempt to woo the many users who enroll in Twitter but fail to engage in the service.
After all, not many have the time (or are willing) to pick out relevant tweets in a stream that changes entirely by the minute.
The e-mail digest is opt-out (everyone will receive it by default), and will give users a summary of the top stories from people they follow, along with noteworthy tweets from users in their greater network.
Users who want to keep tabs on Twitter happenings may find the weekly e-mail useful, but those who access the Web daily will likely see little value in the new service.
In the Internet age, week-old news is almost archaic. After all, isn't Twitter's bread and butter a platform that allows us to find out what's happening right now? Any Internet user who checks Facebook, the front page of any news site, and even the nightly news will likely find themselves clicking "Trash" in response to Twitter's untimely weekly summary. The stories will be dated, and the noteworthy tweets, albeit interesting, will already be forgotten by their tweeters.
Twitter's weekly digest could break the ice for newbies who have yet to discover how the platform can be useful. But for those of us who are already engaged in Twitter, the weekly digest will be nothing more than a redundant smattering of stories and tweets.
Instead, users who want to keep tabs on Twitter in a timely fashion can turns to News.me, a service that provides a daily e-mail of 5-15 of the top stories from the people you follow. There are even iPhone and iPad apps, which offer a real-time summary of the most important stories (including ones from Facebook, if you choose.)
To get started, head to News.me, and scroll down to the box below "News.me for e-mail." Enter your e-mail address and click Enter. Then, click "Add Twitter" (you may add Facebook as well), and authorize the app. Click "I'm done."
To customize the breadth of your daily e-mail, click "Settings" at the footer of the page. Scroll down to "Number of stories" and choose the option that best suits you. Just below that, you'll see a setting that allows you to turn your "favorited" tweets into a reading list that gets added to that e-mail.
As a heavy Twitter user, News.me's daily e-mail summary (and other services like Flipboard and Pulse) make more sense than Twitter's weekly digest. However, it's likely that Twitter will eventually offer customization options, including the ability to change the frequency of the e-mail digest. Until then, I'll be unsubscribing.