How Twitter Moments Is Shaping Online Storytelling
by Al Gomez
October 4, 2016
in Social Media
Twitter Moments is not exactly a new feature. In 2015, they released Moments to help online storytellers curate the best content from the platform. It didn’t take off the way developers hoped it would, perhaps due to the then look and feel of the feature. But it made a comeback in August 2016 to select partner publishers and brands, before being opened to the public this September.
But why are people – especially digital marketers and brands – so excited about this feature now when it’s NOT new to begin with? The answer is simple: the feature has improved. The best part is that it looks amazing on mobile. And we all know how important mobile-friendliness is today.
Another great aspect to Twitter Moments is that it’s quick and easy to make. If you’re making one for a trending news or event, you’re bound to quickly find relevant Tweets in less than two minutes. Upload a featured image for your Moment, arrange Tweets, write a short (but sweet) description – and you’re done. There are plenty of tutorials by now on how to create your first Moment, so there’s no need to cover that for now.
What’s interesting about this feature from the social media giant is how it’s bound to shape online storytelling as we know it. For a long time now, the platform has been home to 140-character novels and short stories. As Moments is now made public, what kinds of stories can we expect from users? What type of tales will make history?
What Makes Twitter Moments Unique
No matter your industry, familiarizing yourself with Twitter Moments is a sound investment.
For one, the entire premise is built upon giving people inspiring, timely, and unique takes on trending topics, news, and events across the globe. This means you’ll be getting insights from different perspectives that you haven’t thought to explore. This would hopefully open up a whole new world of ideas that might challenge your paradigm and possibly break barriers.
Twitter Moments is perfect for folks on the go. The mobile-friendly design plus snackable content makes it a hit for people craving trending news, without having to sift through hundreds of words or blogs. Plus, you get to read what people are talking about. Moments eliminate FOMO without meaning to.
Let’s not forget that this feature is fast and easy to create. As long as you already have a topic, news, or event in mind, simply let Twitter populate the search for you. Add the most relevant Tweets, upload a header image (preferably 675 x 1200 pixels), and you’re all set. This should take you no more than 10 minutes – less, if you’re a Twitter pro.
Don’t want to create one but itching to know what others are talking about? Simply follow their official account, where they feature the best stories from different users. Want to be included in this list? Make sure you create unique Moments that include a variety of content (Tweets, GIFs, images, etc.) about the latest happenings in your area.
Twitter Moments: Shaping Storytelling
After the phenomenon that was ‘microblogging’, the social media King of 140-characters is slowly shaping ‘snackable’ content in the form of Moments.
Quick, easy, and varied, it’s one of the fastest ways to tell stories today. Plus, you don’t need to be a journalist or writer to craft one. In as little as 10 to 15 minutes, you can collect all the best Tweets under the same topic that you want to always remember (or not – as Moments can be deleted).
It’s also a way to connect with all these wonderful people. Instead of spending days crafting the best blog post, you can create a Twitter Moment featuring their 140-character points of view. They won’t be informed or tagged though – so you’ll need to inform them either by email or through a direct message. But you thought of them, and you thought their Tweet wonderful enough to earn a spot in your Moment. It’s the thought that counts.
If you’ve ever played with similar ‘snackable’ content on social media, you’ve probably tried Snapchat’s Stories. Unlike Moments though, this one is more personal and has less text. And as it’s from Snapchat, it will disappear after 24 hours. With Twitter Moments, you can always relive that ‘moment’ (unless you delete it).
Share it again and again, or Pin it to your Profile. It’s not going anywhere. Want to show off your Moments? Embed it on your website or blog.
Twitter provides a quick code you can easily copy and paste. Why have this feature? Maybe Twitter understands that for most of us, we don’t want some moments to disappear.
Twitter Moments Cons
Despite its beautiful layout, Twitter Moments isn’t without limitations. If you’re an SEO specialist, you’ll quickly notice that the feature doesn’t provide custom URLs. Whether or not this will be available in the future is still speculative. If the developers decide to make this a reality, it would allow for better SEO.
Another peeve would be adding relevant Tweet content to your Moments. If you search by Tweet, the first ones that will appear are those that have a good number of user engagement. But just because it has a lot of Hearts or reTweets doesn’t immediately mean that they’re awesome content.
If you want to truly hand-pick the Tweets for your Moment, you can open a separate tab to manually search for relevant hashtags for your post. However, this can be time-consuming.
As Twitter Moments is best viewed on mobile, you’ll need to need to crop certain images that don’t fit the desired dimensions (it’s 675 x 1200 pixels). If you choose not to, the photos are going to look awkward (but maybe it depends on perspective). I recommend using photo-editing tools, like Canva, to resize images – especially headers – ahead of time to avoid cropping them in awkward ways.
Moments in the Making
Hopefully, the Blue Bird of social media will make improvements on this great feature – not just for marketers and brands, but for everyone’s benefit.
How about you, what kind of Twitter Moments will you be making?
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