The Twitter project known as “Project Lightning” has finally been revealed and is already rolling out in the U.S. on mobile and desktop before going global. Just 24 hours after Jack Dorsey was named the permanent CEO – after serving as interim chief executive for four months – Twitter announced “Moments.” And it’s big.The Twitter project known as “Project Lightning” has finally been revealed and is already rolling out in the U.S. on mobile and desktop before going global. Just 24 hours after Jack Dorsey was named the permanent CEO – after serving as interim chief executive for four months – Twitter announced “Moments.” And it’s big. This new curation feature is described by Twitter as, “The best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant.”
The new lightning bolt icon on mobile and desktop opens Moments where people can browse different categories of popular content on Twitter including: “Today,” “News,” “Sports,” “Entertainment” and “Fun” – all of which have different Moments consisting of a title and description. Unlike Twitter’s standard feed, which is most often read in reverse chronological order, Moments have a beginning, middle and end. They are made up of tweets often containing multimedia such as videos, photos, GIFs and Vines, where users simply have to swipe to go through the full Moment. In fact, it feels similar to Snapchat Stories, but you can share the Moment with your followers. Plus, when an event or story ends, so does that Moment.
It’s interesting to note that the majority of moments are created by Twitter’s curation and editing team – but that these curators are not reporters. They do not create original content; instead, they organize and present compelling and popular content that already exists on Twitter. Twitter also has contributing publishing partners on Moments including: Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and the Washington Post with plans to expand to more soon.
So what does this mean for public relations and news? Twitter, like Facebook and Snapchat and other social media channels, are vying to become a news discovery platform, telling and sharing stories, news and events in a compelling way. In this way, Twitter is becoming more than just a sharing, social platform. There’s now an incentive for people and brands to tweet more about top news stories and events with a goal of hopefully appearing in a Moments feed, and reach a whole new audience. But a few of the top questions that came out of this announcement are: will Moments actually drive new users to Twitter and how will Twitter measure success of Moments? Only time will tell.