Twitter is launching its curated stories platform, Moments, today, with a number of partner publications on board while a brand-sponsored version of the feature is set to roll-out in the near future.
Speaking to Mumbrella, Twitter Moments’ global curation lead, Andrew Fitzgerald, said: “Moments is designed to bring you the best of Twitter in an instant. Twitter is already showing you what’s happening right now, we want to help you connect to the best things that are happening right now even more quickly.”
On the Twitter app, Moments can be found in the middle of the bottom rail, indicated by a lightning bolt, and is broken up into sections such as Today, News, Sport, Entertainment and Fun.
“The Today tab, where you first land is all the things happening today, the big conversations in Australia happening on Twitter, reflected back on Twitter,” Fitzgerald explained.
“We’re thinking about Moments as a new format of mobile storytelling so we’re trying to give each Tweet the opportunity to really shine in this experience.”
Twitter’s Moments – a compiled list of important stories that are unfolding on Twitter, with separate sections for entertainment and sport – has a number of local publishers signed on to launch the new function, including ABC News, AFL, BuzzFeed Australia, Channel V Hits, NRL, Scoopla, The Project and This is Amplify.
Tony Broderick, head of partnerships, news and television at Twitter, told Mumbrella: “Some of our partners include ABC News who are great at Twitter, they’ve just hit 1m followers this week, which is the first Australian news account.
“We’re also working with BuzzFeed Australia. I’m really excited about BuzzFeed as a big mission for Twitter is to provide as many voices to to the platform as possible and BuzzFeed does great work with Indigenous Australia, and working on LGBTI issues.”
“These partners will be able to create Moments and we can feature them in the guide, in the Today tab. When the content goes live you’ll be able to see it is made by a partner; there’ll be a byline graphic.
“We want to work with partners because they have real expertise and focus in key areas while the team of curators is providing a big general overview.”
Twitter users are able to ‘follow’ a live Moment, which means tweets selected by the Moments curating team will appear in a user’s timeline until the conclusion of the event. Tweets are indicated to be part of Moments by the lightning bolt icon.
On how the Moments are curated, Fitzgerald explained: “It’s a mix of algorithmic signals and human judgement.
“There is absolutely a team picking the best of that stuff, on top of our search algorithms and other tools that we’re using to find the best content or the content that’s the most engaged with on the platform. ”
The Twitter Moments curation team is led by former Gizmodo Australia editor, Luke Hopewell who joined the social media company at the end of last year. He and his team, a “handful” of curators, are supported by the US and the UK Moments curators.
“Because Moments is a global product we have opportunities to bring things into the Australian market from other markets. We are also very excited about being able to bring Australian Moments like Iron Boy to our other markets around the world,” said Fitzgerald.
On how Twitter Moments will be used to drive user growth, Fitzgerald said the new feature has been designed with new users in mind.
“We really designed Moments for users who are new to the platform or don’t use Twitter all the time, we’ve designed it for those users specifically.
“Moments is for someone who has not yet had the opportunity to build out the perfectly honed timeline, follow different accounts and find all of the different things that really matter to them on Twitter,” he said.
“Moments is a great introduction. It shows you important conversations happening in your country and around the world.
“We’ve seen in the markets we’ve launched in already – in the US, the UK and Brazil – Moments is a great job of reflecting back the conversation that’s already happening.”
In the future, Moments will be rolled out to brands with its promoted Moments program. However, Fitzgerald declined to reveal the timeline for this.
“The promoted Moments program is an opportunity for brands to begin to tell stories within Moments as well.
“Moments is an incredible new way to tell stories within the mobile platform. We are experimenting with how to tell those stories, our publishing partners are experimenting with how to tell stories but also brands are experimenting how to tell stories as well,” he said.
“We’ve seen in the US and the UK and Brazil a lot of brands begin to use promoted brands as a way to extend their brand message, telling very interesting stories.”