Twitter timelines have limitations

Hardcore Twitter addicts have for the last few years relied on several different tools to organize groups of Tweets and present them in context. Some use blogs such as those on Tumblr to highlight specific kinds of posts or a tool called Storify to hand-pick Tweets and add their own commentary. But recently, Twitter announced its own new option, “Custom timelines,” available to all users, for doing something similar.

However, Twitter’s version has its limitations. For now, it can only be done within an application owned by Twitter called “TweetDeck,” not on Twitter’s website or using Twitter’s mobile apps. And there doesn’t appear to be a way to add commentary or context as with Storify unless a Twitter user takes that custom timeline and embeds it on a blog post. With the rollout of custom timelines, Twitter provided examples of its use from “The Voice” host Carson Daly, and The Guardian using the tool to collect interesting Tweets.

Twitter said it will also begin to offer a way for developers to automate custom timeliness; for instance, they might create one that plucks Tweets using a keyword or phrase.