Following a day after co-founder Jack Dorsey was named permanent CEO, Twitter launched a product for browsing tweets on a particular topic known as Moments (not to be confused with Facebook’s Moments). The new product, which was code named Project Lightning, displays the day’s most talked-about stories in a new section of the app and can be accessed by tapping the lightning button.
Once tapped, a Moment will display an introduction with a title and description. When you swipe sideways the Moment will also display full-bleed images and autoplaying videos, Vines, GIFs and related tweets. Moments are often updated as new information or great tweets become available. The difference to note is that Moments focuses on timeline of particular stories rather than displaying the regular content based feed.
Moments is the latest product from Twitter which is looking to bring back users who have abandoned the platform. Moments provides a magazine-like view of Twitter and works even if you haven’t followed a single account. “Moments helps you find the best of Twitter as easily as tapping an icon – regardless of who you follow. Just visit the new tab called Moments, where you will discover stories unfolding on Twitter,” Madhu Muthukumar, products manager explained on the company’s blog.
The product is currently live in the US and available on Android, iOS and Web. The blog post however did not mention when it would be rolled out to the rest of the world. Note that in India, Twitter already has a button called Trending News, a sort of precursor to Moments, which shows what news is popular in a region and shows related tweets.
Although, a Moment shared by someone in the US they will pop up on timelines on users elsewhere.
Most Moments are assembled by Twitter’s curation team, and some are contributed by partners like Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and the Washington Post. “While we’re working with a small group of partners now, we plan to expand it in the future,” Muthukumar added.
– Earlier this month, Twitter partnered with various platforms that maintain ecommerce websites like Bigcommerce, Demandware and Shopify, to enable their customers to offer a ‘Buy Now’ option to users, directly through Twitter. The platform also implemented the buy now option for new retailers and brands like Best Buy, PacSun and Adidas etc. Note that Twitter had started experimenting with ‘Buy Now’ cards in July last year. At the time, tweets with links to the ecommerce website Fancy had an option to buy the product without leaving the app.
– Earlier this month Twitter also expanded its self service ads platform from 22 countries to over 200. According to Twitter, the service, which allows small and medium businesses (SMBs) target audiences in 15 languages, has over 100,000 active advertisers.
– In September, Google and Twitter announced that they were working together on their own version of ‘Instant Articles’ to display to users using either service on mobiles. Unlike Facebook’s Instant articles, or Apple’s News app, Google and Twitter won’t be a branded product. The plan is currently called ‘accelerated mobile pages’ although the name would probably change before launch. The project would also be apparently open source in hopes that other tech companies will adopt it as well.
– In the same month, Twitter added a new discovery feature to its video sharing service Vine that lets users explore songs in the new featured tracks section. This section also displays the song that’s playing on a specific Vine. The company also mentioned that it would also add a Billboard Social 50 chart which will list most popular music Vines to aid music discovery.
Twitter numbers: In July, Twitter reported it had over 316 million monthly active users (MAUs) globally, reflecting a growth of 15 % year-on-year for the quarter ended June 30, marginally up 2.60% from 308 million MAUs, on a quarter-on-quarter basis. The company added that the vast majority of MAUs added in the second quarter on a sequential basis came from SMS Fast Followers. Twitter added 12 million SMS Fast Followers in the quarter, while core MAUs were 304 million.