Personalized story-telling is a trend that has taken social media by storm in 2016, with every major social network releasing their own version of the concept. From Snapchat’s Stories to Facebook Live, users have been given more outlets than ever to express themselves online.
Finally jumping on that train is a dwindling Twitter, who has been struggling with its user growth and retention for all of 2016.
The Moments feature was initially created to allow users to scroll through the most popular tweets posted about major trends and stories buzzing on social media. This feature uses timeliness to its advantage by assembling tweets of pictures and headlines it anticipates users want to see, all in one easy swipe that changes daily.
Originally, the tweets picked for each Moment were curated exclusively by Twitter’s in-house staff and publishing partners. Now, nearly a year later, the social network has decided to let users create their own Moments to share with their followers.
Is this their way of competing with Snapchat Discover, Facebook Live and even Instagram Stories? Yes.
A Social Media Timeline: 2013-2016
To learn more about how Twitter has kept up with social trends in comparison to other networks, we’ve compiled a timeline of the major updates that have affected how we use social media.
In order to provide additional context about the updates, as well as the resulting competition brewing between major networks, we began this timeline in 2013 with the introduction of Snapchat Stories.
- January 24 – Twitter introduces Vine, a 6-second video app.
- June 20 – Instagram launches Instagram Video, allowing users to post 15-second videos in addition to photos.
- October 3 – Snapchat launches Snapchat Stories, which allows photos and videos to be viewed an unlimited amount of times during a 24-hour period.
- April 16 – Facebook changes its timeline design and introduces a new algorithm which curates what you see on your news feed based on your preferences.
- June 3 – Instagram introduces New Creative Tools to edit photos including the ability to make subtle adjustments such as alignment, warmth, contrast and more.
- November 12 – Twitter changes its algorithm, adding features such as “While You Were Away,” location tagging and more.
- January 27 – Snapchat launches Discover, a daily feed from major brands, which is basically Snapchat Stories, but for brands.
- March 26 – Periscope, a live video streaming app, launches on Twitter.
- April 7 – Twitter launches Quote Tweet, giving users more characters to express themselves on the social network.
- April 6 – Facebook launches Facebook Live, where users can film live videos that are instantly broadcast to all of their Facebook friends.
- May 24 – Twitter announces changes to be unveiled in regard to its 140-characer count per tweet. Media attachments and mentions no longer count towards this limit.
- August 2 – Instagram launches Instagram Stories, where users can post 24-hour updates for their Instagram followers. This is very similar to Snapchat Stories, even down to the name.
How Twitter Compares to Other Social Networks
My chief conclusion from this three-year timeline is that Twitter does indeed work hard to keep up with its competition.
In this comparison of major social networks, Twitter has seen just as many, if not more, changes to its design, algorithms and policies. Sometimes they’re the first to implement these updates and sometimes they’re the last; either way, their team has worked very hard to stay up-to-date with the changing social media landscape.
With the acquisition and launch of Vine in 2013, they proved that they were ahead of the game in regards to the video content trend; however, their move to limit character count restrictions in 2016 had most of its users saying “about time.”
But despite being able to stay apace with the competition, the social network has seen a mostly unfortunate 2016, with problems in user retention, growth, and stock value.
Why Twitter Will Have to Try Harder
With more problems emerging for the social network, Twitter will have to think outside the box and try even harder to keep its users interested.
Recently, the company vied for an acquisition bid from big-name media entities such as Google and Disney. However, reports indicated that both companies ultimately lost interest and rejected the notion, leading to Twitter’s 14 percent drop in stock on Monday, October 10th.
In order to stay alive in the world of social media and remain relevant online, Twitter will have to come up with ways to stand out from the crowd. Cue personalized Moments.
Is ‘Moments’ the Answer for Twitter?
Twitter launched Moments in October of 2015, but in an effort to step up their game, is now allowing anyone to create their own Moments as the feature turns a year old.
Looking to expand their audience of Moments users, the company posted a video tweet giving an overview of its features:
For everyone who wants to make a Moment – starting today you can! Creators everywhere can now tell stories with Tweets. pic.twitter.com/ZJtNBoTPWf
— Twitter (@twitter) September 28, 2016
To use Moments, users first decide what they want to tweet about. Once they have selected a topic, they can either use their own tweets or those of others and compile them into one Moment that they can then publish to their followers. (For more information on how you can utilize Moments, you can visit Twitter’s Tips and Tricks page.)
Is this recent feature Twitter’s saving grace? Maybe.
Allowing users to personalize their Moments’ experience by either browsing previously curated Moments or completely creating their own gives them more freedom than before. And we all know that when it comes to social media usage, people like their freedom.
Though with this feature and its alterations being so new, it’s not certain if it will have as much of an impact on users as Snapchat Stories, Facebook Live, and others have had.
2016 has brought on many changes to the social app; from Moments to expanded character counts to potential acquisition bids, a lot of shake-ups have occurred. We’re certainly curious about what will come next for Twitter as the year wraps up.
What Do You Think? Let Us Know!
What do you think about Twitter’s personalized Moments feature? We want to hear your opinion! Let us know in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business utilize Twitter and navigate the changing social media landscape, contact us today.