Twitter added a new feature last week called Moments.
Moments are collections of tweets regarding the stories or events that are most discussed on Twitter. Twitter has been under pressure to acquire more users and this would appear to be a tactic to advance that goal.
The problem with Twitter is that it is hard to explain to newbies. Its value is not apparent simply by going to the site and it can be fully appreciated only after one uses it for a while.
So packaging popular stories or events into a timeline of tweets that quickly give you the gist is an effective way of showing off Twitter’s value to newcomers.
How Do Twitter Moments Work?
Twitter Moments are curated by Twitter staff and from my observations, most of the tweets that are included in Moments are from official, verified accounts (those that sport the little blue check mark). (Here are the Twitter’s guidelines for Moments.)
UPDATE 10/3/2016: Twitter has rolled out the ability to create Moments for everyone. Learn how to create them.
The first thing you’ll notice is that your Twitter account now has Moments tab at the top with a little lightening bolt icon:
Click on that tab and you’ll get the Twitter Moments home page, featuring the current most popular Moments in feed form and categorized off to the left by Today, News, Sports, Entertainment, and Fun.
Click on an individual Moment, and you’ll get the individual Tweets that make up that moment. In this example of Representative Kevin McCarthy withdrawing his candidacy for the House Speaker race, you can see that the included tweets are from the verified accounts of Representative Bill Huizenga and from Roll Call’s account.
And here’s an example demonstrating an image- and video-heavy Moment:
As you can see from the following screenshot, in the upper right-hand corner of each Moment, you have the option of copying the URL to that Moment or grab some code to embedon your site.
On Twitter’s mobile app, the Moments tab is centered at the bottom of the screen:
Twitter Moments tweets expand to full screen on the mobile app.
And you swipe instead of scroll.
You can share Moments…
…directly with your followers.
Unfortunately, if you want to share or embed a Moment, you’ll have to do it right away because they don’t appear to be archived in a central place on Twitter nor do they appear to show up in Twitter search results.
Embedding Twitter Moments
Embedding Twitter Moments is simple. Just copy the embed code into your site and voila! Done. Here’s what a Twitter Moment for On Tour With Taylor Swift looks like:
Twitter Moments & Public Relations
Since Moments are curated by Twitter staff, there is no direct way to influence what tweets appear in a given Moment. It does appear that tweets originating from authoritative accounts–such as verified accounts or those owned by media companies–will have a much better chance of getting included.
It is likely that brand and company accounts will be among those considered authoritative. During crisis situations, I’d imagine Twitter’s curators might feel obligated to include tweets from the subject of the crisis in a Moment devoted to it, so this may be another crisis communications channel that requires attention.
Here’s just such an example, where Southwest Airlines’ apology tweet was included in a Twitter Moment about flight delays: