Reports surfaced on Thursday claim that Twitter has a new feature planned which will change the way the site functions with regards to major events and live coverage. Nicknamed Project Lightning, the feature is going to implement a button which will take users to a selection screen displaying current live events, such as the Academy Awards, Super Bowl or any major breaking news.
By selecting the coverage, the user will then be shown a series of tweets handpicked by Twitter editors as being the most useful, informative and relevant to the event. The team in charge of selecting the tweets will be led by Twitter’s Katie Jacobs Stanton, who leads the site’s global media operations department. The said team is still in the process of being built, with reports suggesting that Stanton is looking at specialists from different areas and markets throughout the whole world with news backgrounds.
Of course, the curated items will not include only tweets, but also photos and videos which would give users a better overview on the event. To differentiate the experience from the normal twitter one, the picked posts will use the entirety of your screen, on phone at least being viewed one by one after swiping. The posts also load immediately, while the selected videos will start autoplaying with little to no delay.
Another new aspect to the special event streaming section will be a bar that tracks your progress through the curated content which, depending on the nature of the event, will either show how much you have until the end of the section or until you catch up with real-time tweets. For example, if you’re scrolling during the third quarter of an NBA Finals match that section could start off with pre-game content and tweets and, as you advance through them, you will eventually reach the point the game is actually at.
Probably a more satisfying part of the feature is an option to have handpicked tweets of the events show up in your normal timeline, without you having to commit following the accounts from which they originate. For example, if a reputed actor tweets something interesting during the Academy Awards, you are only going to see his posts until the event ends unless you choose to actually follow him.
There are still a couple of months between now and the moment that Twitter can even start testing Project Lightning, but it seems to be one of the more ambitious projects the social media giant has undergone. However, the announcement had little impact on Twitter’s stocks, which are still currently at 20% below the price registered right after the company went public in 2013.
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