As Twitter says goodbye to its CEO, it’s preparing to make one of its boldest moves yet.
This fall, users will begin to see a “Moments” icon in the centre of the home page. In a click, they will be taken to the day’s big events (ex. a sports game, natural disaster or awards show), each with full-screen photos and videos that they can swipe through.
The test feature will allows users to follow events and news stories—not just people or brands—and has the potential to eradicate the newsfeed concept altogether.
Manpower, not algorithms, will be behind each collection of stories. Twitter has hired a team of journalists to “select what it thinks are the best and most relevant tweets and package them into a collection” so users can follow that event and get curated tweets in their timeline.
In an arena where speed is everything, this feature could allow Twitter to knock-out Facebook’s curated news feed by breaking news faster, and, unlike Facebook, allow anyone—member or non-member, signed-in or signed-out—to access it. Pretty smart, considering reports that more than double Twitter’s active user-base are logged out viewers.
While some are labelling it “brand suicide” and posing ethical questions about filtering news, others welcome what they see as the end of the “Reputation Economy [where] speed, bloviation, and #engagement are prized far above the actual dissemination of useful information.”
“Moments” will have more brands shifting the focus away from “me, me, me” and towards building creative tweets around real-time events in the hopes of getting featured. Twitter will be including Vine and Periscope content in their collections, so we may also see more companies adopting those apps as part of their social strategy.
Javier Burón, CEO, SocialBro, says “if a brand’s content is featured by Twitter, they will have a tremendous opportunity to reach the public, whether or not these people are logged into Twitter—a goldmine for any marketing professional looking to increase brand awareness. It could, in the long run, also open up new opportunities for companies using Twitter Ads around real-time events.”