One of the best things about Twitter has always been its ability to follow breaking news or trending topics – but it isn’t always easy to track down hashtags, accounts or Moments you might be interested in.
That’s all set to change, with the company announcing several new features that will change the way its users discover and view subjects that are of interest to them.
Up until now, the Explore tab has always been arranged by content type – which wasn’t exactly conducive to streamlined browsing. That’s set to change, with the tab being organized by topic instead.
As Twitter vice president Keith Coleman explains:
“We’re now experimenting with topic tabs in Explore so it’s easier to see what’s happening in news and entertainment, and what’s most relevant to you.
“We’re also launching updates to search to make it simpler to find what you’re looking for. Starting today, at the top of search results, you’ll see related news, events, or stories and be able to tap in to get a recap and see the latest discussion, videos or scores.”
Your Timeline & News
Also being tweaked is the ‘Happening Now’ feature. Previously this allowed sports fans to follow their team’s matches all in one place. This is now being expanded to include breaking news and updates relevant to you.
Coleman continues: “At the top of your timeline, you’ll see news that’s relevant to you along with the surrounding Tweets and videos.”
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Twitter has been sending push notifications to its users for some time, but these are about to get more personal:
“We want Twitter to be the fastest way to see the latest news around the things you care about,” says Coleman. “We’ve been sending breaking news notifications to keep people in the know, in the moment. Now we’re experimenting with sending notifications to you based on your interests (like who you follow and what you Tweet about), so you won’t miss a beat.
“You can always turn off these notifications by going to your recommendations settings and toggling to not see news.”
The Moments feature has been around since 2015 as a way for users to discover the most popular content on Twitter. They’re a useful way to keep with discussions around a breaking news story or topic – but apparently Twitter isn’t happy with the sideways scrolling design…
“Right now, you swipe horizontally to read Moments, but our research showed us that Moments are easier to use vertically, just like your timeline,” says Coleman.
“In our tests of this new look, we saw significantly more people using and returning to Moments. So, we’re starting to introduce this new vertical timeline experience for Moments.
“Some Moments — including Moments outside of the US, Sponsored Moments and Moments created by you — will temporarily continue to be horizontal as we roll out this change.”
All the changes will be visible in the US on iOS and Android in the coming months.