How Moments Could Vastly Improve Twitter’s Best Function

Since its launch on Oct. 6, Twitter has been pushing users towards its newest feature: Moments. The concept was no secret to most. News outlets had been hyping (and some dissing) the arrival of Moments for months leading up to the launch.

Nearly a month later, Moments has been received with mixed reviews. Take for instance, Mr. MC Hammer. He seems to think Moments is pretty great.

Others don’t seem quite as enthusiastic about the change…

But after doing a quick search of #Moments in Twitter’s search bar, it seems that most users are pleased overall. For the past few weeks, I’ve been using Moments myself to see what all the buzz is about. From following live GOP debates to catching up on developing news stories, here’s why Moments is absolutely a step in the right direction for the social network.

For the first two GOP debates, I had the misfortune (or perhaps fortune, depends on how you wanna look at it) of being in class. I had a plan of reading some recap pieces afterwards, but was curious to see how the debate had been unfolding thus far. So I opened up Moments and checked out the ‘GOP Debate’ story.

After swiping through some commentary, and reading a few humorous tweets on Donald Trump, I felt like I got a small snapshot of what was going on. Not the whole story — but enough to quench the news thirst. And even better, Moments offered a little ‘Follow’ button next to the story. For the next hour, I had updates on the debate coming through my timeline with a little lightning bolt signifying they were from Moments. And after the debate ended, so did the tweets. Live news. Really live.

Since becoming an avid Twitter user last year, I’ve learned to love it for all its quirks and flaws. And like all networks, Twitter has quite a few of them. But there’s one thing that Twitter is absolutely, undeniably great at: live news.

No other social network excels as much as Twitter at breaking news. Journalists use Twitter religiously to check sources, get quotes, and track developing stories. Tools like hashtags and retweeting has made finding and sharing news easier than it has ever been in history.

Moments makes this function of discovering and tracking news easier. It streamlines the process of hashtag searching and following the right people into one simple topic: Halloween Costumes or GOP Debate or Hurricane Sandy Pictures.

According to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a Fast Company interview, this may be only the beginning for Twitter’s evolution as a news breaking channel.

“Moments represents a real shift in our thinking,” Dorsey said during the call. “It questions the reverse chronological timeline. Moments is a bold new experience that I think does question a lot of our fundamentals. Moments is one piece that makes all of Twitter better and easier to understand. There will be many more pieces to come over the next year.”

But for us humble news-seeking, Twitter users, Moments represents a ray of hope for the seemingly stagnant social channel. We may be getting a glimpse of the future for Twitter. In the coming months, we could see plenty of Samuel Sunderaraj’s taking the same action.


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