Project Lightning revealed: Twitter launches new Moments venture

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 7 October 2015

Social network Twitter has launched its much discussed Moments venture, which it has been discussing for sometime under the alias Project Lightning.

Part news service part trending topics, the new tool will allow both logged in and logged out users the ability to discover what's happening in the social network just as simply as scrolling through the Home tab.

Twitter's product manager Madhu Muthukumar said: “Moments helps you find the best of Twitter as easily as tapping an icon – regardless of who you follow. Just visit the new tab called Moments, where you will discover stories unfolding on Twitter,” he said.

There will be several ways to interact with Moments. Users will be able to browse moments by swiping to dive right into the story, or there will be the ability to follow moments which will mean the tweets will blend into your timeline but disappear when the moment has passed.

Currently Moments is purely focusing on user experience however down the line Twitter has indicated that it could start working with brands on sponsored Moments which would be another way for the social network to monetise its offering.

Moments has just launched in the US, however it is expected to roll-out in Australia over the coming months. Locally Twitter is currently recruiting an editor and editorial staff to run the service here.

According to Twitter most Moments are assembled by Twitter's curation team, however it explained that some are contributed by partners like Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and Washington Post. Twitter also notes that it plans to expand out its partners in the future.

“Tapping on the new lightning bolt tab on your phone opens a list of Moments that matter now. As new stories emerge throughout the day, we continue to update this list. Looking for more? You can also swipe through to topics including “Entertainment” and “Sports” to find more stories from the past few days,” Muthukumar said.

The launch of Moments comes as Twitter announced that Jack Dorsey will become permanent CEO of the business, Dorsey who was one of Twitter's co-founders, has held the interim title since June.

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