Over the past few weeks I have heard rumblings about Twitter’s Project Lightning launch. As the announcement drew closer I connected with many members of the Twitter team and you could tell they were excited about the pending announcement but still remained very tight lipped about all of the details of the launch.
Today is the official launch day in the US and as the news was breaking I received messages from the Twitter team with links to the official blog post.
I then saw the update available on my iOS device and then caught the Periscope reveal of Moments by the product team. Now it’s time to jump into what Moments is and how is it applicable to brand marketers?
ABOUT TWITTER MOMENTS
When you update the Twitter app you now see a Lightning bolt in the middle of the main navigation. Tapping it opens a list of Moments from the day or various topics that include news, sports, entertainment and fun.
What you see are curated “moments” that users can engage and subscribe to. The user experience consists of full-bleed images + swipe to engage the next piece of content in the “moment”. Content types can including images, videos, Vines & GIFs.
By tapping on a moment, users have the option to retweet or favorite content and there is a progress bar that shows how much content remains in a particular moment.
Users can also follow moments to stay up to date as new content is added. Updated tweets to the moment then become a part of the users timeline without the need to navigate back and forth.
From a marketing perspective this is a very similar approach to what Snapchat rolled out recently with their Live Story platform.
This is from last nights MNF game and this moment was curated by both Snapchat & Twitter.
Snapchat leverages event geo-fencing so individuals that are participating at an event or moment can submit Snaps that are curated into 3 to 5 minute live stories.
Snapchat has also rolled out a comprehensive mobile ad experience that integrates user-submitted Snaps with Snapchat’s full screen ad units, which normally included four units plus an event geo-filter for content.
Example of a Snapchat Live Story Ad Type
Example of a Snapchat Geo-Filter
The similarities are that both Twitter and Snapchat are curating content from specific events and making it discoverable. Twitter does not currently leverage geo-location as a filter to curate content, but Twitter’s goal is soon expand beyond their team curating moments and enabling individual users to create moments.
WHAT DO MOMENTS MEAN FOR BRAND MARKETERS?
Twitter’s goal with the Moments launch is to slow the flow of information down and extend the shelf-life of content while also providing new avenues of discovery to conversations and content across the Twitter ecosystem.
Moments also brings sequential storytelling capabilities to Twitter. By enabling the ability to craft brand narratives that seamlessly integrates with created, co-created, integrated and curated content opens up possibilities to create immersive experiences that can sustain themes for longer periods of time leading to more opportunities for organic discovery.
Moments allows Twitter users to have a more focused approach to consuming event content beyond individuals they follow. A use case would be an NFL game, a user following an NFL Moment would receive content from teams, broadcasters, players, the league, etc…
For brand marketers, once Twitter provides the tools for individuals and brands to create moments, it opens up the possibility of curating conversations and potentially packaging and promoting content beyond a single tweet to provide more contextual relevance.
Taking the same NFL example above, here is what I think the user experience could look like for a brand with an NFL sponsorship when this ad type is rolled out. You have NFL content, User Generated Content and the potential for relevant brand content.
It will also be very interesting to see how Twitter wraps it’s advertising products around moments. (UPDATED) The Twitter team just told me that brand testing will begin by the end of this month. At first, they will be 100% owned and curated by a brand with no immediate opportunity to sponsor an Entertainment Weekly “Moment” or an NFL “Moment” yet.
Based on past ad types, I assume there will be an option to promote a specific moment to bundle event content and focus the conversation, I also assume that brands will have an opportunity to place contextually relevant ad types into key curated moments.
The benefits for marketers is having the opportunity to reach new audience segments in a highly contextual way beyond simply promoted tweets and this may create more value for brands looking to build a connection with users in the moment.
Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360