Twitter’s big moment

The news that Twitter will open up its Moments feature to all is a real "at last" moment (pardon the pun) for the service.

Until now most users have had to rely on third party offerings like Storify to string a number of tweets together for wider consumption. Twitter, and probably most users, would much rather this behaviour and traffic remain in-house.

The feature is, in my opinion, the best thing that has happened to the network in recent times but I still believe the company can go much further with them.

As I have written before, enabling replies to existing Moments could be a useful way to boost engagement. This would feel more like leaving a comment on a blog post or news item, and these tweets could then be incorporated to provide ongoing, real time reaction.

Twitter is live!

This "read and respond" behaviour should also make Moments a priority for new users to see when they join.

Discovery

In a piece over at Recode Kurt Wagner argues that extending the feature in this way "doesn't help with Twitter's discovery problem" of "finding and surfacing the good Moments" but I can't help feel he's missing the point.

The Moments tab nicely breaks things down into categories like Today, News and Sport but, yes, users actually have to visit the tab. Some do, many don't.

So why is discovery not a problem?

I have long advocated that important/breaking Moments should be included in the feed and this may happen if Twitter's testing is anything to go by. Irrespective of this, anyone can share a tweet to the feed and I feel this is more where Twitter are heading.

Opening the creation of Moments to all is not about everyone finding all Moments right across the network. What it does enable is for a far broader range of topics to be covered. The team at Twitter currently do a brilliant job but, by necessity, can be limited to the big news stories, popular culture and memes.

We generally follow people because we have shared interests. Moments created by users on specific or niche topics will increase usage because they are relevant. This may attract new users or at least convince some others to stay.

After all, Twitter's user problem is not just in attracting new people.

Moments creators will probably be sharing them to the feed (you want people to see your work) meaning they are instantly discoverable to all followers - no visit to the Moments tab required. They will no doubt also be hashtagged providing easy discoverability as long as Twitter includes them in searches; it would be a badly missed opportunity it they didn't.

Following on from this, Moments created should also be added to user profiles alongside pictures and Vines.

Signal v noise

Kurt is right that volume alone won't help discoverability; flooding everyone with irrelevant Moments will merely cheapen the feature. Targeting our interests for greater relevance and providing increased visibility, however, will.