Twitter debuted its new feature “Moments” yesterday. Is this the feature the company needs to recharge growth and get people interacting? No, it isn’t.
Moments are curated collections of Tweets around news events, like the Yankees losing to the Astros or the grandmother who won $310 million on Powerball. A lightning bolt icon at the bottom center of mobile Twitter or the Web top menu invites you to the list of moments. You pick one and see a curated selection of tweets from Twitter’s staff (in the future, Twitter users will be able to make their own). The display is engaging, a sequence of tweets on a photo or video background with a start, middle, and end.
Moments replace the riotous chaos of a hashtag tweetstream with the organized quiet of a museum display. You flip through the sequence and then you’re done. While you do get to see the first-person tweets of celebrities, these tweets don’t invite interaction. (You can double-tap to favorite a tweet or tap once to see a screen with a retweet button, but the mobile interface hides these buttons until you request them.)
Here’s what’s good about this: Twitter is innovating the product. That’s a start, but its not the earthshattering breakthrough that Wired reports it is.
When I suggested creating separate tweetstreams for events and people, this static display was not what I was hoping for.
Here’s how to fix this:
- Show the most popular tweeted comments in response to these moments. Let’s see what people are saying about these events.
- Invite us to join the conversation. Visually invite the viewer to tweet a comment about what they’re reading. Show my followers what I had to say; show me what the people I follow had to say. Events have crowds; social media events have crowds that participate.
- At the end of a Moment, link me to stuff on the Web and related events. Draw me in, don’t just say “OK, you’re done with this one, let’s look at the next one.” If I wanted that, I’d just go to Google News.
While this new feature is dead easy to use, it won’t draw in many new viewers. Except for a discreet “SHARE” button at the end of a Moment, it doesn’t really invite interaction and viral sharing. It’s dead. And that’s a shame.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@jbernoff”]Twitter’s “Moments” lock up the groundswell in a dusty museum display. That’s sad.[/tweetthis]
Photos: Twitter blog