Twitter Moments: Still on the Fence

A few weeks ago, Twitter added a new section to their app and website.  Called “Moments,” it’s designed to be a place to keep up with things happening in the world.  Moments includes everything from political news to entertainment to internet trends.  The idea is that Twitter pulls together interesting tweets on a topic.  It’s meant to be a way of sorting through all the noise on Twitter and discovering good content.  If it’s coverage of a live event, you can “follow” it, and tweets will show up in your timeline just for the duration of the event.  Sounds cool.  However, my experience has been mixed.

Let’s start with the good.  After the attacks on Paris last weekend, Twitter had a moment showing the responses to that.  It was cool, and I genuinely feel like it helped inform me about what happened.  So after using Moments last weekend, I decided that I liked it and I would try to keep up with it.  And that’s where my interest began to wane.  When there isn’t a major breaking news story going on, Twitter Moments are kind of… boring.

At least the ones meant to be serious news are.  There are plenty of other silly ones – usually under the “Fun” tab – that are still, well fun.  Things like the trending hashtag #IWouldSleepMoreBut (spoiler: college and Netflix are prime offenders).  And some of the news stories are interesting, even if they’re not groundbreaking.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Twitter Moments needs to decide what it wants to be.  I thought it was pretty good for breaking news, but the problem is there isn’t always news breaking.  When that’s the case, it can just be a fun distraction to kill a few minutes while waiting on the bus.  I think it’d be cool if they had a Breaking News section that was truly only for breaking news.  What I mean is that a lot of the time, this would just be empty.  And that’s ok.  What I want them to do is to differentiate between keeping up with stuff that’s happening and just goofing off.  What I don’t like is them having a breaking news section that sometimes has breaking news and other times just has lame filler.  ••