Launched on October 6, 2015, Twitter Moments is the embodiment of Twitter’s latest objective as put forth by CEO Jack Dorsey during the company’s Q2 earnings call in July of 2015:
“You should expect Twitter to be as easy as looking out your window to see what’s happening. You should expect Twitter to show you what’s most meaningful in the world to live it first before anyone else and straight from the source. And you should expect Twitter to keep you informed and updated throughout your day.”
Twitter Moments does just that however, the big question for small businesses is, “Should we care?”
To answer that question, let’s take a closer look at how Twitter Moments works and how brands can get involved.
What is Twitter Moments and How Does it Work?
Twitter calls Twitter Moments , “the best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant.”
In a nutshell, Twitter Moments is a new section of Twitter where curated tweets are used to create “Moments” or stories as they unfold in real time. You can access moments via the new Twitter Moments tab on both your desktop and mobile devices. Here’s how it looks on your desktop:
- This is the Twitter Moments tab.
- These are Twitter Moments topic subcategories.
Inside a Twitter Moment — Desktop
To see how a Twitter Moment works, we’re going to click on as one is shown below:
As you can see, a Twitter Moment is made up of tweets selected by Twitter’s curation team. The tweets can be text, images and videos. Here’s a look at the moment we selected:
You can share a Twitter Moment in one of three ways:
- Tweet a link to it;
- Copy the link and then send via a different channel; and
- Copy code to embed the link in your site.
Here’s how you access all three options as well as what the pop-up looks like for each:
You can also take action on an individual tweet in a moment:
Lastly, if you want to view a tweet outside of the moment, simply click on it and it will show in a pop-up:
Inside a Twitter Moment – Mobile
Moments are also available under the Twitter Moments tab on both iOS and Android :
As you can see above, the Twitter Moments topic subcategories are accessible along the top of the screen.
When you’re on a mobile device, you can see each tweet in a moment by swiping to the left. In addition to retweeting and liking an individual tweet, you can also follow the user, You can also share the tweet via direct message and favorite an individual tweet.
Twitter Moments Curation
Each Twitter Moment is created and populated by Twitter’s internal curation team as well as a select group of partners. Moment curation follows a set of principles and guidelines  put forth by the company.
Today, Moment curation partners include : Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and the Washington Post. Twitter plans to grow that list in the future.
Twitter Moments for Small Businesses
What does Twitter Moments offer to small businesses? Not much. Here’s why:
Regular Folks Can’t Play
Currently, Moments is read-only, a situation that blogger and Internet marketer Ann Smarty (@seosmarty ) finds puzzling.
“Twitter has always been so open and fueled by user-generated content,” says Smarty. “It’s weird that they decided to make Moments an exclusive playground.”
Twitter explains , “We know finding these only-on-Twitter moments can be a challenge, especially if you haven’t followed certain accounts. But it doesn’t have to be.”
While that’s true, one look at Twitter Moments and you can see that it includes the voices of celebrities and select media outlets and excludes the voices of the rest of its users, including that of your small business.
No Personalization Options
Currently, you cannot filter the Twitter Moments Tab to show information you’re most interested in. Sure you’re getting a curated list of top stories as they happen on Twitter, but in these days of filters and personalization, it seems odd that, apart from the high-level subcategories, you can’t select the topics of the Moments you’d like to see first.
No Business Topic Subcategory
Even if the Twitter Moments tab enabled a small businessperson to configure the news that’s shown, there’s no business topic subcategory. This is a clear indication that, at least for now, Twitter is not creating any business-oriented moments.
As growth strategist Jason Quey (@jdquey ) succinctly put it, “Nope, didn’t bother to figure out Twitter moments. It seemed like something more for those following the general news or celebrities.”
Sponsored Moments Out of Reach for Most
There is a way that brands can contribute to the Twitter Moments tab. Called, “promoted moments” , this new type of ad content, “will look and feel just like all other Moments — except they’ll be authored by a brand and be featured in the Moments guide for 24 hours, with a Promoted badge.”
Promoted moments sound great until you see the price tag: a cool $1 million . If your small business can pay, go for it however, not many will be able to come close.
During the earnings call mentioned at the top of this article, Dorsey went on to say, “But Twitter can’t just be the best window to the world; Twitter also has to be the most powerful microphone in the world. You should expect Twitter to increase your reach and you should expect Twitter to encourage live and direct conversation and participation around whatever you share.”
With an exclusive curation partners list, a lack of focus on business and a price tag of $1 million on promoted moments, don’t expect many small businesses to step up to the Twitter Moments microphone any time soon.