The service, which is available through apps on both Google and Apple, aims to bring together the best content, including pictures, videos, Vines and GIFs, around specific events or stories. It is available via a new ‘lightning bolt’ tab on your phone, with content put into topics such as ‘news’, ‘entertainment’ and ‘sport’.
Clicking on a moment shows an introduction with a title, description and picture. By swiping right users can find more content related to the story while a single tap gives a full view of the tweets, which can also be ‘liked’ or ‘retweeted’. A moment can also be shared.
When the Twitter Moments lightning bolt shows up on your account, you'll see amazing stuff like this ⚡️ https://t.co/GeFhLIo7JK
— Twitter UK (@TwitterUK) December 15, 2015
The feature currently relies on Twitter’s own content team to curate the best tweets around the most interesting news. However, the tool is also available to a select number of publishers, including BuzzFeed, Have I Got News For You and Vice, which can create their own moments and tweet them out to followers.
The opportunity for brands
Currently brands cannot access the tool but Twitter’s UK MD Dara Nasr said the introduction of ‘promoted’ moments is on the horizon, with a firm date for launch to be established by the start of 2016.
He pointed to the US example, where promoted moments were rolled out about three weeks after the feature was available publicly, although cautioned that with Christmas and the New Year it was likely to take a little longer in the UK. However he did say Twitter is already in conversation with some brands that are keen to try out the service.
“We are speaking to our colleagues in the US trying to understand what works best [for brands]. We’ve had a range of clients use it there – Starbucks, Fanta, Macy’s, Warner Brothers – FMCG to retail to entertainment.
“What we are trying to do is work out how [brands can] best utilise moments and understand what has worked best before we go with recommendations.”
Dara Nasr, UK MD, Twitter
He pointed to examples in the US, for example Warner Brothers used it as a “mini trailer” to build up to the release of its new Rocky film ‘Creed’. Starbucks, meanwhile, used it to promote its ‘Red Cup’ product.
The opportunity for Twitter
Twitter has previously described moments as its “most important feature ever” as it looks to boost consumer engagement and therefore ad revenues. Joanne Geary, who heads up the moments team in London, said the platform will evolve and is likely to be made available to logged out users as it is in the US, while Twitter is “interested in” how an algorithm could personalise the content each person sees based on their interests.
Twitter is facing growing questions over its performance, particularly as user growth slows. Anthony Noto, its CFO who is currently in charge of marketing, said Twitter’s main challenge is that while it has 90% awareness, only 30% of people are actually using it.
It must increase that figure if it is to compete with other social networks and attract brands’ ad dollars. To do that it needs to encourage people that have used the service but given up to come back, while boosting visits among light users.
“The ideal product will bring people that are coming to us a bit, not a lot, to become more regular and people who have tried us before and maybe gone ‘this is confusing, I don’t get Twitter’ to come back and have a second go and see if moments bring them into content faster and helps them enjoy the experience,” said Geary.