The battle between Twitter and Facebook for control of how people create and consume content around current events is heating up. In the latest escalation, this week online publishers are getting access to many of the tools used by Twitter for its Moments feature, allowing them to sort, curate, and arrange tweets to create their own Twitter-based content around news events and subjects.
Online publishers using two Twitter tools, Curator and Publisher, will be able to discover relevant tweets about current events and trending topics and embed them in their own content on their Web sites or apps in new ways, including for example a grid format for publishers who want to eschew the simple stack of tweets; the grid format is particularly well-suited for photos and video. The new tools will allow publishers to pull multiple tweets to form a themed collection all at once, rather than having to embed individual tweets one at a time.
Twitter partnered with third party services commonly used by publishers including Spredfast, Dataminr, ScribbleLive, Wayin, and Flowics to make the new system more convenient for publishers. The tools are also available to app developers, who may want to incorporate them into their apps as part of their own storytelling, promotional, or advertising efforts.
“Moments” is intended to make Twitter more accessible to casual users by compiling tweets about high profile, ongoing events, thus removing a lot of the confusing clutter that has hindered more widespread adoption. There are also “evergreen” Moments devoted to topics like hobbies, science, and so on.
The feature highlights the most discussed stories and topics on Twitter through a new central tab on the app and Web site. After opening Moments, users see top trending stories across a range of categories and can tap on a particular item to see the top tweets about that subject.
A number of publishers are already contributing content to Twitter’s internal Moments team, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Fox News, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Bleacher Report, Getty Images, Major League Baseball and NASA.
Also this week, Twitter announced that it is introducing a new polling feature, which will allow marketers, professional posters, and ordinary Twitter users to survey their followers on any subject.