Twitter's Happening Now, Explore are about to get more personal Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 20th Jun 2018
Twitter is digging the tweets you care about most out of the timeline and making them easier to find. On Wednesday, June 13, the company announced an overhaul to several areas of Twitter focused on delivering more relevant, personalized tweets and live video on news and events. In a set of changes to Happening Now, Explore, Moments, and the search tool, Twitter is aiming to deliver more custom content, some rolling out now and others over the next few months.
The changes are designed to highlight Twitter’s focus on real-time conversation and continue a focus on news that has already brought several changes to the platform. The changes are designed to help you find relevant content, even without knowing the best accounts to follow for tweets on that topic, Twitter says. The overhaul makes big events and breaking news easier to find while customizing sections of Twitter based on the topics you follow and what you tweet about.
Twitter’s Happening Now section will soon be driven by both breaking and personalized news, expanding beyond the original sports beat the tool was first designed for. The feature continues the placement at top of the timeline but expands to include personalized news and breaking news, including tweets and video. A similar test was spotted earlier this year. The focus on personalized news will expand to Happening Now over the next few months for users based in the U.S.
Happening Now won’t be the only place Twitterverse finds custom curated news and events — Twitter will soon start sending out notifications for the biggest news events as they happen. Twitter already sends notifications on breaking news, but the network is now testing out notifications that, like the news in the Happening Now, are based on factors like who you follow and what you tweet about. Another update with a timeline measured in “months,” users will be able to turn the news notifications off inside the settings.
While the Happening Now and notifications will work to deliver content based on user interests, the updated Explore section is designed for users that seek out that information on their own. Currently organized by the type of content like tweets and video, new tabs that divide the section by topics is slated for arrival over the next few months.
The first part of the overhaul to launch to users is an updated search, which started rolling out today. The Search tool now has a new bar at the top that displays related news and events. Each one contains both a recap as well as a section with the latest tweets and scores for sports.
Twitter is also rolling out a new look for Moments, the network’s collections to put related tweets and videos all in one place. Moments is switching from a horizontal swipe navigation to a vertical scroll, switching from the Stories-like format to a more traditional Twitter feel after tests of the feature increased the number of users coming back to the tool.
In the U.S., Moments will also allow users to choose whether to see a reverse chronological list or the top tweets. New tabs will organize the section into recaps, the latest, and top comments. Live video will also be included inside Moments when available. The update has already rolled out for sports but is beginning to roll out to news and events. The slow rollout means some users will continue to see the horizontal swipe design in some Moments and not others.
Some changes are already headed out to users, while others are a slower trickle that will pop up over the next few months.