Facebook’s not the only one with Moments. Scrolling through the Twitter app early this morning was bound to bring up something a little different – a lightning bolt icon nestled snuggly between the notification and messages icons. This icon refers to Twitter’s newest feature, Moments, a tool that curates and packages all of the images, videos, gifs and VIP tweets on Twitter happening around a live or current event that’s playing out. If there’s an interesting conversation or cultural phenomenon erupting on Twitter, Moments will help capture the zeitgeist in a bottle, so to speak.
Currently, the feature is available in the United States across all web and mobile users of the social media platform. Moments is being positioned as a feature that allows tweeters to easily discover and sift through the biggest things happening on Twitter at the time by aggregating all the pertinent and buzzworthy content being posted on Twitter about it, without having to scroll through mountains of tweets searching through a trending topic. A particular Moment can even be followed so that the best tweets go right into your timeline without having to hunt them down. When a Moment expires or reaches its natural conclusion, so do the tweets.
A quick glance at the feature shows a very streamlined aesthetic, with the best images and videos depicting the Moments happening now for further discovery and exploration. Twitter has created subcategories for some of its bigger Moments, including ones for news, sports, entertainment, and to keep tweeters on top of everything, a today category.
Clicking on a Moment allows users to swipe through all of the selected, curated tweets around it for a brilliant, illustrative picture. It may share the same name with Facebook’s newest app, but Twitter’s Moments owe more to Snapchat’s Story feature, being that the idea and function behind the two are relatively similar. As more tweets around the Moment come in, a Moment will update itself to include the best of the best of that new content, indicated by a blue dot in the upper right hand corner signaling the Moment has been updated.
In terms of functionality, Moments seems to borrow a page from Instagram, though with more effortless manuevers behind all it is you can do within a given Moment. Tapping once allows you to open up a Moment and explore it in-depth. Tapping twice gives you the ability to favorite a particular tweet within a Moment. Swiping up or down takes you out of that Moment and back to a topic or category page within the feature. Making it all the way through a Moment leads to a share button, allowing users to tweet it out to all of their followers and add their own 140-character comment to it.
As of now, Twitter’s in-house curation and editing team is responsible for all of the Moments tweeters can explore. Taking yet another page from Snapchat, Twitter revealed that a select group of partners including Buzzfeed, Fox News, Vogue, the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Mashable, NASA and Washington Post will be able to publish their own Moments soon. Code-named Project Lighting, Twitter Moments definitely looks to strike a chord among rabid Twitter users who want to always be on top of the social conversation, and reluctant adopters of the platform who have been holding out for the simplification of Twitter’s process.