The next time you login to Twitter you will notice a new icon on the bottom of your screen. The lightning bolt icon will allow you to access Twitter’s newest feature, Moments. Moments gives you access to trending stories on Twitter along with the most relevant tweets. There are several topic areas in Moments: Today, News, Sports, Entertainment, and Fun.
When you first enter Moments you will default onto the Today section, which is a collection of stories and videos from the various sections. News is selection of hard news stories and videos. For instance, when I logged in, I had live video and tweets from the recent terrorist attack in Israel show up. Sports is going to have the latest scores and sports-related stories trending on Twitter. Entertainment has tweets about new book releases, music and celebrity news, TV premieres, and fashion. Fun is where you find Buzzfeed-type stories and things that are trending that don’t fit into other categories.
This is a first attempt by Twitter to solve the question new users often ask, “I’m on Twitter now what do I do?” If you don’t follow anyone on Twitter, it can be a pretty underwhelming experience. Mentions give a new user something to do the first time they login. It also becomes a de facto source for breaking news. Considering how many journalist and news organizations use Twitter, I’m sure this is a welcomed feature.
This week Facebook also began testing 6 new “reactions”
For years people have been clamoring for a dislike button, and Facebook has resisted. Well, Facebook finally decided to offer something beyond the “Like” button. The new options are “love,” “yay,” “wow,” “haha,” “sad,” and “angry.” These are quite similar to the emojis used in text messaging.
Mark Zuckerburg felt that in certain cases people would like to display some empathy in certain situations and a “Like” wasn’t always the best choice. Facebook felt that these new “reactions” could help to make that choice easier for users. Currently the new feature is getting beta-tested with users in Ireland and Spain. No word yet from Facebook on if or when it will roll out to the rest of us.