Starting today, Twitter is introducing “Moments” on the platform. The new tab shows a glimpse of what’s happening on Twitter instantaneously.
The company says that since a large number of tweets are shared on the platform, users can end up missing these conversations, especially if they don’t follow certain accounts. The new feature makes it easier to find these “only-on-Twitter moments”.
The new tab, represented by a lightning bolt on the phone application, shows a list of moments that is updated throughout the day. Users can also swipe through to topics including “Entertainment” and “Sports”, to find more stories from the past few days.
As of now, the feature is available only in the US across Android, iPhone and the desktop web. But, as with tweets, a moment can be shared anywhere: if users outside the US discover a link to a moment in a tweet, a direct message, or embedded elsewhere, they can access the feature.
Engaging with a moment
Clicking on a moment leads to an introduction with a title and description. Users can swipe to get more information about the story, including images, videos, Vines and GIFs. A single tap gives a full view of the tweet, while a double tap allows users to ‘favorite’ the tweet. The progress bar at the bottom indicates if there’s more to the moment, while swiping up or down dismisses the moment and takes the user back to the guide. At the end of a moment, users can click the share button to tweet their comments.
Following a moment
Moments are frequently updated as new information becomes available. A blue dot on the upper right-hand corner of the image associated with the moment indicates that the story has been updated since the user last viewed it.
For stories that update very frequently – like live sporting events or awards shows where it’s critical to know what’s happening minute by minute – there’s an option to follow the moment, which blends the tweets pertaining to the moment directly into the user’s timeline. When that story ends, so do the tweets, leaving the user’s timeline just as it was before.
Read more about the Moments feature and how the desktop version works.
Currently, Twitter’s curation team assembles most moments, while partners like Bleacher Report, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and the Washington Post contribute some. While Twitter is working with a small group of partners now, it plans to expand it in the future.
Read the principles and guidelines for curating moments.