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Twitter Opens Moments to Select Celebrities and Brands—and Soon Everyone

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Analysts aren't going crazy over Twitter's recent video content deals with companies like the NFL as its growth stagnates.Photograph by Michael Nagle — Bloomberg via Getty Images

As part of its ongoing attempts to boost engagement on the platform, Twitter is opening up its Moments curation feature to a select group of celebrities and advertisers, adding soon any user will be able to create the collections and share them with others.

Until now, Moments have been created only by Twitter’s in-house team of editors as well as a small number of publishers and media companies. But when the feature—formerly known as “Project Lightning”—launched last October, the social media company promised it would eventually be available to any user.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Twitter product manager Gaby Peña said the company wanted to give people “a new and dynamic way to tell their stories.”

To date, Moments have been created by our curation team and a select group of publishing partners but it’s always been our goal to open up this creative canvas to more people. Today, we’re excited to announce that a broader group of creators will be making Moments, including influencers, partners, brands… and in the coming months, everyone.

One of the first “influencers” that Twitter (TWTR) has given the keys to is Deray McKesson, a Black Lives Matter organizer and activist who has been very vocal about how powerful Twitter and its live-streaming app Periscope have been for the cause.

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Also on the list of early adopters for the Moments feature is Budweiser, which is using it to allow users to “explore every detail” of its beer cans. Allure magazine is also now using the tool to promote its content.

Twitter has tried a number of times to find ways of curating tweets around breaking news and important events, including the Discover tab, which it killed off last year. The app and the web version now have a lightning bolt at the top that takes users to curated Moments—in addition to a list of hashtags and trending topics that pop up when users click on the search tab.

One feature that differentiates Moments from some of Twitter’s other experiments is that users can click and follow a curated package of tweets about a particular event, and they will see tweets from accounts included in the given Moment as new ones appear, even if they don’t follow those accounts normally.

 

 

Whether Twitter’s new expanded version of Moments takes off is a big question mark, however. Some users say they find them irritating and not very useful. Twitter has also had a curation feature, dubbed Collections, available to all users for some time via its Tweetdeck app, but it is rarely used.

Twitter is likely hoping that Moments will not only boost engagement among existing users, but also appeal to new ones.

The company’s user numbers have been lackluster for some time, which is part of the reason why Twitter’s share price has been trading close to historic lows—except for the occasional bump when there are rumors about a potential acquisition.