On October 6th, 2015, Twitter launched a brand-new feature called “Moments, the best of twitter in an instant.” At first, this tool was pushed to users as a new way to view current news and topics, in the format of a group of tweets, on Twitter without having to following new accounts. Originally on its own tab, moments can now be found on the explore page where they are broken up into categories. For example, as I write this some of the top moments are:
UK NEWS: Over one million sign petition to block Trump state visit to UK
HISTORY: The execution of King Charles I
AWARDS SEASON 2017: The best of the SAG Awards red carpet
From there you tap on the moment you wish to browse and swipe left through the curated tweets. The first page always includes a title with a brief introduction, and beyond that every page has a retweet and like button. At the very bottom there is a bar that shows your movement through the tweets and indicates how many there are until the end of the story. At the end, there is an option to share the moment and a list of other moments you might wish to view next.
The actual format of this feature is very similar to the format of Snapchat and Instagram stories. All three become full screen and contain quick blurbs of information that are intended to be consumed very quickly. The navigation of the feature, the user swipes instead of taps, and the number of people contributing content, one account versus many, are the most noticeable difference.
Because creating moments is now open to all users any moment that any account tweets can end up on the featured moments page. Whether you are verified or not, have millions of followers or 10, it doesn’t matter. If what you are saying is important and warrants to be known by others you have the possibility of ending up on the featured page to be viewed by all of Twitter.
As a user of many (probably too many) social media platforms I have found Moments to be useful in two different ways. I head to this feature when I need a quick catch up on todays events. From politics to music to any category I instinctively find interesting, I always feel this is a good use of my time when I am in a rush. Secondly, this feature is an unmatched resource during a live breaking news event. Mainly Politics, Sports, and Pop Culture. The tweets are updated to the second and if you can’t find a TV or live stream, this is your best bet to stay informed in a live way. All you have to do is follow the moment and the tweets will be seamlessly integrated into the rest of your feed.
Twitter has found a valid way to make both reading and contributing to breaking news and events much more accessible and appealing to all.