Twitter is opening up its Moments feature to users, but only if you’re one of its select influencers, brands, or partners. The company revealed that it has given certain “groups of creators” the ability to curate tweets around major events and that everyone will have this capability in the coming months.
Twitter Moments, which debuted in October, was previously called Project Lightning, and is one of the central components of the company’s marketing efforts. Until now, every Moment had been curated by either Twitter’s editorial team or a limited group of partners — such as BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, Getty Images, NASA, The New York Times, Vogue, and Major League Baseball. Among the newest set of users to unlock this feature is civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, who hasn’t been shy about his relationship with Twitter:
“Moments allows us to collect and curate tweets to tell stories in new ways. It’s a powerful Twitter feature, continuing to help build community as we engage specific topics and events,” Mckesson said in a statement.
— deray mckesson (@deray) August 9, 2016
Twitter declined to detail the process by which users will create Moments, but it appears that it won’t be done through a standalone app and that everything created will be included in the Moments tab. Interestingly, this could initially be done through the company’s Facebook Mention-type app that’s geared toward influencers and celebrities. However, when the feature opens up to more users, Twitter will have to manage it so that its newest tab is not filled with a lot of noise — perhaps it’ll only display the best of the best like with trending topics?
This isn’t the first tool allowing people to curate tweets, as the service does have its Collections feature. Collections allows users to string tweets together in a timeline format. But the difference between that and Moments is that the latter offers more media-rich content and is shared in a card format.
“By extending this creative format to more people, and eventually to everyone on Twitter, we are giving people a new and dynamic way to tell their stories,” the company explained in its blog post.
By making Twitter Moments available to those with large followings, the company is counting on them to indirectly evangelize Twitter, thereby helping grow usage numbers. This feature has been a core part of Twitter’s marketing plan, and the company’s two commercials revolve around Moments.
For now, it appears that Twitter has started to slowly bail out its sinking ship. During its second quarter earnings call, CEO Jack Dorsey stated that “we’ve made a lot of progress on our priorities this quarter,” one of which involves live events. “We are confident in our product roadmap,” he added, “and we are seeing the direct benefit of our recent product changes in increased engagement and usage…”
Users will start to see Moments created by these new influencers and content partners today, which will likely translate to more diverse events being shared on the platform. If you’re not one of the lucky few, stay tuned, because your time will come. “Over the coming weeks, thousands of more creators will have access to make Moments,” the company said.