Twitter on Wednesday announced that it was focusing on putting more live news events in its users’ newsfeeds and notifications.
The company said it wants users to be exposed to more news faster and would add features that broadcast events like the World Cup, earthquakes, royal weddings and elections live.
The features would showcase relevant tweets to a live event, too. For example, users looking up a basketball game would see tweets from expert sports commentators that they might not necessarily follow.
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“The goal is to make it easy to quickly find and follow the events and breaking news you care about on Twitter,” tweeted Sriram Krishnan of Twitter’s consumer product division. “Especially if you already don't have a well-curated timeline.”
Overall, the changes seem aimed at making the platform more personalized and more relevant to ongoing news events. Each user will be able to use an “Explore” tab that curates news and commentary about topics the user is supposedly interested in. Live video of breaking news events will also play in a small screen.
“We want Twitter to be the fastest way to see the latest news around the things you care about,” Keith Coleman, Twitter’s Vice President of Product, said in an announcement.
“We’ve been sending breaking news notifications to keep people in the know, in the moment. Now we’re experimenting with sending notifications to you based on your interests [like who you follow and what you Tweet about], so you won’t miss a beat.”
Notably, the update comes just a few days before the world watches the first matches of the 2018 World Cup.
Twitter attempted a similar news-focused feature in 2015 with Moments, although that feature did not seem to achieve the high expectations the company held out for it. At a press conference Wednesday, Twitter’s director of curation Joanna Geary said the new features could be seen as an “evolution” of Moments.
The update to the service will occur first for users in the United States in the next few months and for international users shortly after.
By Barry Eitel