Twitter Moments: Meet the new feature Twitter hopes will tempt users

Lynsey Barber
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Lightning bolt
Twitter's Project Lightning is now called Moments

Twitter has launched a new feature called Moments, designed to make the social network a warm and welcoming place for new users.

Pitched as "the best of Twitter in an instant", Moments curates a selection of the hundreds of millions of Tweets sent every single day.

"We know finding these only-on-Twitter moments can be a challenge, especially if you haven’t followed certain accounts," said product manager Madhu Muthukumar.

The best Tweets of the moment will appear in a new tab marked with a lightning bolt. The feed also includes sections such as entertainment and sport.

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The feature used to go under the name "Project Lightning" and has been under development for some time. It essentially removes the "who am I meant to follow" feeling for new users who can find it bewildering compared to old hands.

Twitter's head of product Kevin Weil had this to say about Project Lightning - now Moments - back in July, speaking to The Verge.

With 500 million tweets a day, everything that happens in the world, happens on Twitter. Literally everything that’s going on, there’s somebody with a phone, taking a photo, posting a video, putting it on Twitter. But it’s tough to find all of that content, even for you and me, who are expert Twitter users. And so Project Lightning is a bold take on how we can deliver that value to users instantly, without making them go and find it themselves. The idea is that we can give users a new experience, a guide to what’s happening on Twitter right now. It doesn’t need to be a big event like the World Cup or the NBA Finals or the Oscars. It could be a meme that’s breaking on Twitter. It could be a conversation that’s happening.

Moments is curated by real-life people as well as showing content from partners such as Buzzfeed, the New York Times, Vogue and Nasa.

Initially it's available for US users on Android, iPhone and desktop, but will roll out to "more places in the coming weeks and months".

Twitter finance chief Antony Noto told investors over the summer that user numbers were unlikely to grow meaningfully in the short term without making improvements to marketing or products to help it become mass market.

Moments is one feature which Twitter hopes will do just that.

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