Twitter Inc. is giving retailers a new way to tell stories on its platform.
The social network is letting brands and influencers—and in the near-future all Twitter users—use Moments, a dedicated section of Twitter that seeks to filter the flood of tweets about major events, including sporting events, awards shows, breaking news or cultural memes. Moments groups together multiple tweets—often from multiple sources—so that stories aren’t constrained by Twitter’s tight 140-character limit.
“When things happen in the world, people come to Twitter to see, experience and comment about what’s happening as it unfolds,” Twitter writes in a blog post. “The stories and voices aren’t always expressed through a single tweet—they unfold across multiple tweets and involve various points of view. Moments allow people to capture and experience richer stories reflecting the diversity of tweets that, together, make Twitter so powerful.”
Moments had been using a patchwork of editors and publishers to pull together posts about particular events, such as the Olympics. A few weeks after launching Moments in October 2015, Twitter rolled out Promoted Moments that let retailers and other marketers pay to have a Moment appear in users’ feeds. By giving brands like Nike Inc. a different way to tell a story on its platform, Twitter is looking to make itself more accessible to retailers and other marketers while, at the same time, broadening its revenue possibilities. Nike is No. 47 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide.
“Twitter wants to let brands tell their stories in different ways,” says Rebecca Lieb, an independent media analyst. “Telling a story in 140 characters isn’t the easiest thing.”
While the Moments expansion isn’t directly tied to ads, the goal is to drive consumers to engageme more with Twitter, Lieb says. If retailers drive more engagement on Twitter via Moments, the more willing they may be to spend money to bolster their efforts, she says.
Moments enables Twitter to counter Facebook’s Canvas—a tool that lets retailers post on the social network without the constraints of its traditional text, image or video templates—and Instagram’s Stories—which let brands post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours—says Jim Tobin, president of Ignite Social Media, a social media marketing agency.
“Twitter needs a way to tell stories in a sequence and Moments do that pretty well,” he says. “The challenge, however, is the generally low volume of users checking out Moments. Twitter’s next step is going to have to be figuring out how to elevate these stories to get exposure for them, through both paid and unpaid methods.” While Twitter has not shared data on how many users look at Moments, one recent report suggests that Moments has struggled to attract advertisers.Favorite