New-old Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's first order of business is making Twitter easier for people to use. And a day after the company's co-founder re-took the reins, Twitter will begin rolling out a new feature that seeks to do just that by organizing tweets around live events into feeds called Moments.
Teased over the summer using the code name "Project Lightning," Moments takes the real-time Twitter stream you're familiar with and flips it on its axis, literally.
When people open the updated Twitter app, they'll see a new "Moments" tab that they can open to see lists of different live-event feeds collected into categories like news, sports and entertainment. People will be able to swipe horizontally through each "moment" feed to see a chronological stream of tweets -- including text, photos, videos and six-second Vine clips -- that are related to an ongoing event and selected by Twitter's editorial team for inclusion.
"What we want to provide is a simplified way for users to get instant value from the platform and literally get the best of what's happening on Twitter right now," said Twitter VP of Sales Matt Derella. He added that the section "should be a very easy way to catch up with what's happening in your world with one tap."
Moments will debut without ads, but that won't remain the case for long. Twitter has deals in place with an undisclosed number of unnamed brands to run ads within the live-events section starting sometime within the next several weeks.
Instead of slotting promoted tweets within organic live-event feeds, Twitter will be giving brands their own moments called promoted moments. "What it's actually going to be is a dedicated piece of real estate within the moments guide where a brand can curate a series of different tweets or Vines to actually tell their story," Mr. Derella said. How brands use their promoted moments would be up to them, but examples could include a film studio creating a moment from tweets related to an upcoming movie release or a brand curating a moment out of tweets posted at a music festival it sponsors.
"This is going to be very different than a search text ad. This is going to be videos, images, and should provide a canvas for brands to move people and shift their hearts and minds," Mr. Derella said.
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Each promoted moment will appear within the moments tab for a 24-hour period and can be updated throughout that time. At first Twitter plans to run one promoted moment a day, which will appear in all of the category lists of moments, but will likely add to that number over time.
As with the normal moments, people will be able to share a promoted-moments feed with other people on Twitter or outside of Twitter, and promoted moments -- as well as normal moments -- can be embedded on publishers' sites. And each tweet included in a moment, promoted or otherwise, can be retweeted. As with normal moments, promoted moments will not be able to include Periscope-powered livestreams or interactive cards, but those may eventually be added to the mix, Mr. Derella said.
Twitter is working with a number of publishers including The New York Times, Major League Baseball and Vogue to create their own moments using tweet-curation tools developed by Twitter, and Twitter is considering making those same tools available to brands when creating promoted moments. Twitter's brand strategy team will also be working with advertisers to help them curate their promoted moments feeds.