As part of its ongoing push to boost user engagement, Twitter is focusing on its unique position as a “live” platform for documenting events as they unfold. This week the microblogging service began testing a new “News” tab in its mobile apps, which should make information about current events including breaking news easier to find, according to Buzzfeed, which first reported the news.
When users tap on the new tab in the app’s navigation bar, it displays a collection of headlines from big news publishers currently trending on Twitter, which users can then tap on go to an individual story. One example showed headlines curated from The New York Times and CBS News. Each story screen contains a headline, text blurb, and an image, as well as an aggregation of some of the top-trending tweets that mention the story.
Twitter is currently testing the app for a small number of users on both Android and iOS devices, and it’s not clear when a broader roll-out may be coming. The news tab doesn’t carry ads at this time.
As noted, this is just part of a bigger push to more fully exploit Twitter’s live reporting functionality. In June the microblogging platform previewed “Project Lightning,” which allows Twitter and its users to aggregate content around events in curated spaces on the platform, including photos and videos.
On the advertising side, last month Twitter introduced live event targeting, which helps marketers reach consumers engaged with live events with additional capabilities for targeting by gender, language, and device type, among other factors. It also provides historical data on previous events, including how many Twitter users were engaged, popular hashtags and keywords, and the audience profile.