Twitter in an Instant

Screenshot of Twitter’s “trending” section  featuring Google Assistant’s announcement of their integration with iPhone.

Twitter is often considered the in-the-moment medium when it comes to social media. It is not uncommon to hear an individual or even a brand to announce they will be “Live-Tweeting” a TV Show, sporting event, or even a criminal court case for those who aren’t there to follow along. Twitter users can then find tweets about the event by searching for a specific hashtag, or in some cases, just for the topic being discussed. When one particular topic or hashtag gets popular enough, it will show up as a trending topic allowing Twitter users to know what in theory are the most important events or topics in the world.

Twitter wanted to make it easier for its 319 million active users to find the content they want without following and scrolling through thousands of accounts, which is why they combined Twitter Moments, Trending Topics, Live Video, and Search into a single tab on mobile. In order to achieve this, Twitter put all search and discovery features into one central “Explore Tab” which launched January 26, 2017 (currently on desktop it is still labeled “moments”.)  Each section has a preview of its top listings and users can tap “More” to see a more in-depth list. While none of these features are new, they’re now in one location rather than scattered throughout the app. The hope is that by combining these features into one tab, users will have a  better grasp of the Twitterverse in its entirety.

Overall, the Explore tab is a great improvement to Twitter and is easily used by both current and new users. Whether or not Twitter users will adopt the feature is still up in the air. At this time, the section is not customized to user’s interests, which may be an added-value opportunity for Twitter down the road.