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Twitter Moments – The UK Launch

Peter Lowes, Head of Social Content

The author

Peter Lowes

Head of Social Content

It’s been several weeks since Twitter Moments was trialled in the US, and this week the feature finally hit the UK, although the response hasn't been completely positive.

Twitter Moments arrived in the form of lightning bolt tab on the Twitter homepage, bringing together all of the day's top news stories, curated by the Twitter team who compile the best Tweets shared around the chosen topic.

Moments covers anything from world news and television to surfing and style, with everything being constantly updated in real time. The best content is hand-picked to ensure stories are updated regularly using only the best, most reliable sources.

While current Twitter users have given the feature a mixed response, the target audience appears to be new Twitter users rather than existing. The attention span of the average social user is around 5 seconds and the life span of a tweet is approximately 6 minutes, making it easy to miss parts of a story as goes live on Twitter – but Moments counters this.

New users may enter the app and quickly feel lost in their feed and as though they are missing the gaps in a story – perhaps because they are not following enough accounts to put the pieces together. By implementing Moments, this takes away the uncertainty and it is hoped that it would keep newer users engaged with the platform.

The addition of Moments to Twitter throws up some interesting questions to marketers. On one hand, the goal of getting your brand's content featured within the Moment feed for a particular story provides a great opportunity for brands to further amplify any reactive content produced, and it will be interesting to see if the curation team behind the feature allow brands to buy or earn space within a Moment. The Moments tab is also a good barometer of the stories that Twitter and its users are really engaging with at a given time, meaning the feature could act as an inspiration tool for social media managers and PRs alike.

On the other hand, the current iteration of Twitter Moments removes all hyperlinks from featured Tweets. Historically, Twitter has been used by many as a way to discover a breaking news story, before venturing away from the social network to their news outlet of choice to find out more information. By removing the hyperlinks from the featured Tweets in Twitter Moments, the network is attempting to give users all the information they need within the platform itself, killing referral traffic and maximising the amount of time a user spends on the platform.

As referral traffic is a key measure of success for many social campaigns, it will be interesting to see if Twitter intends to roll this approach out across the platform in the future.