Twitter has begun implementing its new feature, “Moments,” which aims to sift through the chaff that is the Twitter stream. The service aims to distill important news items into easily digestible and image-heavy stories from reliable news outlets. In order to keep stories updated and orderly, Twitter will use human editors to sift, prioritize, and post content. The Times writes that “A few news and entertainment partners — including The New York Times, BuzzFeed and Major League Baseball — have also been given tools to create Moments.” It is no coincidence that Twitter has, like Facebook, Snapchat, Apple and the rest, moved toward a content creation and curation. [Indeed it would seem that it’s a challenging – and perhaps exciting – time to be in journalism, since a news outlet must tailor and manage its content on its own site and app, as well as on Twitter’s Moments, Facebook’s Instant Articles, and Snapchat’s Discover. Sensing an exploratory theme?]
As the Times notes, Moments itself is not a sea change for Twitter, but it is a step in the right direction. I would argue that its drive toward active news aggregation is a necessary one. Facebook is more of a personal soapbox – filled with family photos, carpool requests, and political rants – whereas Twitter works to surface broader content – news events, celebrity scandals, sports scores, and yes, I suppose, political rants, as well. When I hear about breaking news on the TV or radio, my first inclination is to go to Twitter. But I’d share my feelings on Facebook. Moments presents an opportunity for Twitter to do what it does best, and in a more orderly way. It’s not an organizational overhaul, but it’s a start. And that’s worth chirping about.