Twitter has been experimenting with a few different ways to keep irregular Tweeters interested in the 140-character microblogging service. The latest experiment to launch in Australia is Moments, a dedicated section of the site (or app) where Twitter's own employees build bespoke posts around the most talked-about and news events of the day — and it'll be all over Aussie Twitter by the end of today.
Moments is/are a new form of rich Twitter media, where multiple tweets are brought together in a narrative format and punctuated with images, video and GIFs and headed by a short blurb. They're meant to be both pointers to high-quality accounts for new or irregular Twitter users to follow, as well as a catch-all place for Twitter to aggregate and immortalise important or newsworthy tweets for later reference.
Here's an example:
Moments can be embedded into any webpage, but they live on Twitter — that's where you'll find them and that's where Twitter wants you to stay, rather than looking at news websites for news. Their purpose is to make it possible to follow a topic, especially one that's evolving live like #sydneysiege, #illridewithyou and #ironboyau, without directly following the thousands of accounts tweeting about them.
The desktop Moments experience, like a regular Twitter feed, looks a little out of place on a widescreen monitor, but it's on mobile's portrait format that it really shines. Big, full-width and full-height images can form the backgrounds for individual tweets, and moving between those tweets is a slick and involving ride. If you're a power Twitter user, you don't need Moments, but it might grab your attention now and then — especially if you haven't been online for the day and want to catch up on current events.
Australia is the fourth country worldwide and the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to be #blessed with Moments; to access it, look for the lightning bolt in your Twitter navigation bar, next to the Notifications tab — that's where they'll all be. The Aussie team for Moments will produce around 20 to 30 per day, on the topics that are popular on Twitter and around the 'net more generally, roughly on par with the same teams that already exist in the US, UK and Brazil — all following company guidelines.
Former Gizmodo Australia editor Luke Hopewell actually heads up the curation team out of Twitter's Sydney offices (Hi Luke!), and a team of around half a dozen staff cover categories like sport, tech and 'fun'. Twitter in Australia is also launching with some partners on board like ABC News, BuzzFeed Australia and The Project that will create their own Moments. [Twitter Moments]