Twitter Moments, which launched in Australia Wednesday, is not intended for the avid user who refreshes their feed multiple times a day.
Twitter faces a well-documented challenge adding new users to its platform, and Moments aims to convince those dipping their toes in the Twitter pool to stick around.
Starting today, Australian users will see a small lightening bolt tab when they have Twitter open in their browser or on its app. When clicked, a list of Moments will appear covering a range of news, entertainment, sport and what the company calls “fun” topics. Think of it as content discovery with a human touch.
Moments can either be scrolled through or followed, temporarily inserting a number of relevant tweets into a timeline without having to follow any extra accounts.
According to Twitter’s Australian curation lead Luke Hopewell, Moments Down Under will curate the best of Twitter for users in consumable portions. “The best of Twitter means anything people are talking about,” he explained. “If it’s a conversation around a particular news event or particular hashtag games — any content that is of interest to our users.”
Among other reasons, Australia was selected as Moments’ fourth launch market after the U.S., UK and Brazil because stories started here have gone viral around the world, including — for example — the recent Iron Boy phenomena. “We both want to, within a market, reflect the Twitter conversation back to users, but it’s also very interesting for us to [amplify] stories from a market and share those globally,” global curation lead, Andrew Fitzgerald, told Mashable Australia.
Apart from its in-house curators, Twitter has partnered with a number of companies who will contribute to Moments in Australia. At launch, these include news outlets such as the ABC,BuzzFeed and [V] Hits. It has also partnered with sporting codes like the Australian Football League and National Rugby League.
For beginners and beyond
According to Twitter, Moments, as a human-curated news feed, is built for the benefit of new users and not necessarily the fractious Twitter hordes who can get #RIPTwitter trending at the mere suggestion of a change to their timeline. But that’s not to say even Twitter’s most devoted users won’t entertained by new feature.
“We think it’s a really great way for new users to Twitter, users who haven’t built that perfect home timeline yet, for them to be able to understand and appreciate all the incredible things that are happening on Twitter,” Fitzgerald said. “We think of Moments as an extension of content discovery on Twitter, beyond the search function.”
While the company has not yet released any public numbers around uptake of Moments, its success could prove difficult to quantify. “The way we think about measuring Moments is how is Moments helps people to better understand Twitter,” Fitzgerald said, which sounds like a tricky thing to measure.
While Twitter figures out how to reflect on the impact of Moments, the stock market will be making dour measurements of its own. Hopefully a curated news service, as well as a few otherbells and whistles, will prove the boost the company needs.