However you look at it, Twitter’s ‘Moments’ has failed to live up to expectation.
The highly touted addition – originally called ‘Project Lightning’ - was seen as a way for the platform to solve one of its core issues: the perception that Twitter is too difficult to understand for non-users, the people they most need to appeal to in order to boost theirstalled user growth.
“This is a bold change, not evolutionary,” Kevin Weil – the then Twitter SVP of Product – told BuzzFeed ahead of Moments' launch (Weil is now Head of Product at Instagram).
Twitter had bet big on Moments being a success, giving it prominent placement within the app and running their first ever TV ad to support it. But now, a year after its launch, it seems the that Twitter's been forced to concede that the option isn't going to deliver like they’d hoped.
This week, there have been reports of two different Twitter tests being conducted to replace the Moments tab with a new "Trending on Twitter" type prompt.
In the first iteration, Moments is replaced with a ‘Happening’ tab which puts more focus on live video and trends.
Looks like @twitter is swapping the "moments" tab with a "happening" tab. Has live video, trends and then moments. pic.twitter.com/TdAvarHel3
— Jeff D Lowe (@JeffDLowe) October 14, 2016 This makes sense, and works more in line with Twitter’s newly identified “what’s happening now” mission statement, while also emphasizing live streaming - which seems to be the platform’s Obi Wan Kenobi in the face of the looming Empire of market expectation.
Another variation, as reported by Mashable , is largely the same, though under a different title – “Explore”.
Image via Mashable
Through these new options, Twitter can put more emphasis on live and happening coverage, and coupled with their ongoing advances in machine learning and personalization of the user experience, that tab could become an extremely valuable news source, if done right. But at the same time, it demotes Moments, which underlines the fact that the option has failed to deliver, at least on the scale Twitter had hoped.
But there is still life in Moments. The platform last month announced that all user can now create their own Moments, which may not be that exciting to the average user, but for brands it could be significant.
Over on the Twitter UK blog , for example, they’ve showcased how brands can use Moments to best effect, with some great examples to consider.