Twitter has launched Moments, the best stories on the platform featured in their own tab, curated by Twitter and, eventually, its publishing partners.
Here are five reasons Twitter might be keen to create a stream of editorial.
Feel free to watch the promo video first…
— Twitter (@twitter) October 6, 2015
1. Moments will attract reluctant users
Social networks like Snapchat and Twitter are looking to add content from publishers as an added attraction for new or reluctant users.
It can be quite lonely signing up to a new network and scrambling to add friends or follow people in order to attain any sort of meaningful interaction.
Yes, Twitter has hashtags and will display ‘Top Tweets’ in search results, but a full-on curated stream of content gives a ready narrative that can help to build Twitter’s user base.
2. Moments will keep users in the app
It was undoubtedly one of Facebook’s best moves when external content was rendered within the walled garden.
Facebook users now share and experience external content within the app. Video, for example has exploded. All this means more ad dollars.
Now Twitter is letting publishers create their own content within its app. And this matters because it helps to change the perception of Twitter as a place where news breaks to a place where it can also be digested.
Take September 2015, there was a certain story about the UK Prime Minister and a cloven-hooved animal which was breaking all over Twitter.
I’m not saying the network would have created a Moment for this specific story but many publishers get millions of views (BuzzFeed etc) from taking stories from Twitter and detailing/timelining them in articles, especially popular or confusing stories that run for a day or two and don’t get as much major media coverage.
If Twitter can keep more of this buzz within its own network, it can boost time spent in-app.
3. Moments will create more ad space (and ecommerce potential?)
At the moment (no pun), the new feature has guidelines that say driving revenue is not on the agenda.
However, we’ve heard networks dismiss ad opportunities before. Another stream could mean more ad space and potentially much more valuable ad space (that’s what Snapchat is doing).
Ads here can be more contextual, be displayed for longer and include video.
In the long run, Twitter’s roll out of the Buy button for retailers may benefit from the Moments feed, where sales messaging could be less interruptive and more relevant.
4. Twitter will eventually allow users to create Moments?
The creativity of brands and users is increasing as more tools are developed to allow them to publish to social media.
Twitter is a relatively simple platform but to keep pace with rivals, perhaps it will eventually look to allow users to create Moments.
This may again increase interaction with the service, allowing users to commemorate events in much the same way as they would with a Facebook album, but in a more enjoyable way.
5. Moments will fend off Snapchat Stories
Snapchat has 100m daily active users, a little under a third of Twitter’s monthly users.
As Snapchat has its own Discover tab, allowing publishers to create Stories and share in advertising revenue, Twitter will not want users and media companies to think it is lagging behind.
For more Moments, check out @TwitterMoments.