Twitter launched a new section on its website and mobile apps today called Moments. The curated selection of top tweets aims to inform users about breaking stories and other content they may have missed in Twitter’s constant flood of posts.
The Moments feed, not to be confused with Facebook’s Moments, is a section of curated tweets bringing users “the best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant,” according to the announcement. The groups of tweets, called Moments, include breaking news, sports and what Twitter is calling “cultural memes,” which are things like Travel Tuesday tweets and cute animal videos.
Tweets within each Moment come from all Twitter users, ranging from established news outlets to celebrities to everyday people tweeting what they see. Moments aren’t very long, with around 15 to 30 tweets each, and help tell a clear story with a heavy focus on tweets with videos and pictures.
The first Moment for many users was news about the flooding in South Carolina. The Moment started with a tweet from CNN and included pictures and video users had tweeted from around the region. However, the text tweeted alongside the images also helped to tell the story.
Users can also follow Moments, adding the list of curated tweets to their timeline. This seems to be aimed at events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl, where content from across the world is being generated at too high a volume for many people to enjoy. As Twitter adds content to a followed Moment, that content will show up in a user’s timeline as well so they don’t have to keep checking back into the Moment for new tweets.
According to The Verge, Moments was born out of a hack week, where Twitter employees can work on their own projects to shake things up. The original product designers wanted to get all the interesting tweets about a football game into their timelines without having to follow a bunch of people who might not be so interesting when it’s not game day.
They built a system to add the best tweets to their timeline during the game, but when the game is over those tweets would stop cluttering their feed. Over the past 10 months, that system has developed into Moments.
Twitter assembles each Moment by hand, but uses retweets and favorite to help surface the most compelling content. Every Moment is the same for all users right now, even those who aren’t logged in. As Twitter struggles to grow its user base, the new Moments may give people a reason to turn to the social network even if they don’t follow many people or aren’t sure how Twitter works.
In fact, Moments seems to go against how many hardcore Twitter fans use the service, who often build lists and carefully curate their own feeds. Twitter didn’t even include a Moment around the Microsoft event today, despite tech writers being some of the most avid Twitter users. But Moments encapsulates the best parts of Twitter: bringing together live content from all kinds of users.
The Moments tab is rolling out to U.S. users today across iOS, Android and the web.