Twitter “Moments,” was released on October 6, 2015, and some industry analysts are already calling it the company’s most important feature EVER. That’s a lot of faith to place in one bit of new functionality. But Twitter, a company which just years ago was the young unicorn we jockeyed while galloping into the Internet age, is now, according to some experts, merely a sick horse. So the stakes are high–but if the former group is right, Twitter may be revived, and Moments may become one of the most significant B2B marketing trends of the next year.
Don’t believe it? Well, let’s take a look.
Right now many people find Twitter hard to use. Signing in is like walking into a Bazaar where hundreds of people are shouting and trying to sell you things, except that with Twitter, you’re yelled at over 9000 times each second. While Twitter is often the place where breaking news first gets reported, unless you are a power user who knows how to use lists and hashtags, you’re likely to be overwhelmed.
“Moments,” is making headlines because it promises to mitigate the chaos that many of us experience using Twitter. Originally coined “Project Lightening,” the new feature, which is still represented by a lightning bolt icon, allows users to see a curated collection of tweets around a particular topic, and thus get a fuller picture of a news story as a result of the added context.
Essentially, for the first time, Twitter has taken on the role of a curating editor so users don’t have to waste energy finding the relevant people to follow, constantly refreshing Timelines, and weeding through unrelated Tweets, just to keep up with important topics.
Instead, the Moments landing page directs a user to the “Today” tab, (also available are News, Sports, Entertainment and Fun tabs) where the day’s trending topics are illustrated by Tweets featuring prominent images and video. If you click into the Moment concerning a specific event, say an episode of Game of Thrones or a Presidential Debate, you will see a collection of Tweets from selected thought leaders around that event. Moments have context. Moments have beginnings and endings. Moments tell a story.
Twitter’s editorial staff updates developing events throughout the day and if new content has been added, a blue dot appears on the top corner of the Moment’s featured image. Only the Moments that update frequently like an election or breaking news, can be “followed,” and following a moment injects Tweets into your timeline. Mercifully, you can easily unfollow that moment too.
For now, only the Twitter staff is curating Moments, however, Matt Darella, Twitter’s VP of Sales, says that branded stories will be the next phase of the project. Plans are in place to create “Promoted Moments” for brands that showcase discussions around promotions and products. These changes mean that brands are going to be able to start curating their own series of tweets to tell a story, such as relating a brand or product to a current event, upcoming film or music festival. It’s following the same model as Snapchat’s ‘Live Story’ option that have generated an average audience of 20 million in 24-hours. That a lot of eyeballs and potential revenue, right there.
Until then, marketers can try to guest blog for Moments’ existing media partners like BuzzFeed, Mashable, the NYT or a slew of others. But once the door is open for marketers to create their own stories on Twitter Moments, you’ll have an entirely new way to reach people on Twitter. Moments may turn out to be one of the most significant B2B marketing trends of the next year to come so keep your eyes open!