On Thursday, October, 6, Twitter unveiled its new “Moments” feature, a tool used to give people a live look into an event as it’s going on. Twitter is losing ground against Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat in terms of popularity with certain demographics and needs to change its platform up to spark some life into it. This goes along with the decision to possibly increase the amount of characters in a tweet as well as the “Highlights” section.
Used as a way to get “the best of Twitter in an instant,” you can follow a series of events and Twitter will deliver content into your feed that is related to said event. In this case, the first event to be used with it was the AL Wild Card game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees.
At 7:30, 40 minutes before the first pitch from Masahiro Tanaka, I received a push notification from Twitter saying “Wildcard is starting”. I proceeded to follow it and go to this screen:
After following and going into the feed, I was taken into this:
When swiping left to right, you were provided with a multimedia outlet from tweets surrounding the game, from teams, news outlets, and beat writers. The majority of them were gifs or Vines that could be easily retweeted from right inside the menu.
When I selected “following” and returned to my newsfeed, I would find tweets like these while scrolling:
Twitter was pulling in popular tweets surrounding the event that they thought I would like seamlessly. You can tell it’s from the moments because of the blue lightning bolt in the upper right hand corner. Here was how it looked when pushed to the desktop feed:
These also were all from accounts that I had yet to follow, so it seemed to be a cool way to add on to who I follow.
After I went into the moments feed during the game, this is how it looked:
What came up was a cluttered photo feed with text tweets integrated into it as shown above. The posts were not updating live and you needed to refresh the page in order to get updates, which appeared all the way down at the bottom. It was definitely more useful for the posts to show up live in my feed than to go there.
Lastly, when the game was over and the Houston Astros beat the Yankees 3-0, this came up in my feed:
This was a smooth way to tell me, if I went away from my TV or streaming device, that the game was over and I didn’t need to worry anymore.
Now that its first run is over, here are some pros and cons and how it can be used down the road:
- Twitter Moments forwarded tweets that were of interest to me from people that I had not followed before. This gave me new people to follow and made it seamless to get an updated and accurate view into the game without going through a cluttered hashtag or two.
- It was a great reminder for me to when the event was about to start and when it ended. This way, I did not have to set a reminder on my calendar ahead of time. Twitter did it for me.
- It was easy to retweet and favorite media tweets in the Moments section. I don’t have to search all around Twitter for photos or gifs to share.
- The tweets that came into my feed a majority of the time were from the Houston Astros and Astros beat writers. Maybe this is because I already follow the Yankees and a number of their beat writers as a Yankees fan. But I expected more of a balance, despite the Yankees losing.
- The Moments section was cluttered and did not update in real time. While it was great to get the Moments to appear in my Home feed, I would have liked to use the Moments feed as a live stream of those tweets because I follow almost 2,000 people.
- The mobile Moments feed was out-of-focus and I was not sure what to do with it at first when I got to the screen. Maybe doing an up-and-down progression instead of side-to-side would’ve been more useful but then again, that’s just my opinion.
WHAT IT COULD BE USED FOR:
- Political debates: Much like Snapchat, Twitter can be a source for news for all major political debates entering the 2016 election. Candidates, reporters, and commentators can all be fed into this and then shared to everyone.
- Individual teams with games: Depending on if this grows, specific teams or leagues across all sports can work with Twitter and filter their own content for a specific contest, and therefore acquire new fans and generate buzz.
- TV channels with shows: Want to follow the ESPYs on Twitter? Want to track who is winning what at the Grammys? Twitter, along with TV stations or producers, can link up
- Geo-specific events: With the location turned on in your phone, if you are in a certain area and an event is going on, Twitter Moments could be a great way to get the inside scoop on an event so you don’t miss it.
With the addition of Moments, Twitter is taking a step in the right direction in trying to improve its platform and spark some life into it. It will be interesting to see how it develops down the road.