The chronological news feed has been a bit of a looming specter for Twitter . Sure, it’s their bread-and-butter but it only works for users who are willing to put in the time to prune their own feeds and strip away follows while constantly keeping an eye out for new accounts. For Twitter, a major challenge is discovering how they can update the experience for casual users who follow a few accounts but haven’t gotten deep into the discovery phase yet. Twitter’s efforts to double-down on surfacing live events coverage and catering to users’ specific areas of interest have been an evolving mission for the company, but today, they are announcing some of their boldest moves yet to change how the app grows to understand a user base on their interactions. Twitter is making some major updates to the Explore feed, which will now surface curated pages dedicated to news stories surrounding breaking news, live events and stories in a way that will drive a closer fit to individual user’s interests and help them find more of what’s happening across the site. Some of these changes will also be popping up at the top of user home timelines in a bid to draw users down exploratory rabbit holes that expose them to new accounts and new communities. For Twitter, it’s a logical evolution of Moments which were introduced in 2015 to drive conversations and curate stories from the Twitterverse. There’s going to be a big mix of what is being curated by humans and algorithms as the company looks to marry the editorial voice it has built up in Moments with its human curation team with a highly-targeted algorithm that can find interests and grab the latest tweets that meet them. It’s all about striking a balance and understanding the limits of curation in each situation, the company tells me. “We wouldn’t, for example, set a human on the task of trying to identify all of the relevant live conversations coming out in real time in a particular situation so that’s where algorithmic curation comes in,” Twitter’s Director of Curation Joanna Geary told TechCrunch. Now, for something like a breaking news story, you’ll be able to find what some of the most important tweets that have really driven the story, alongside a tab to explore what is coming in live. The company will be testing a topic feed dedicated to the 2018 World Cup that will organize scores, plug in live video, and integrate photos and reaction in a way curated by man and machine. Twitter has been exploring the promises of the algorithmic feed for quite some time, but it’s opted to push most of these minor updates to the Explore feed or just to the top of users’ main feeds with brief “what you missed” interactions
Less talk, more walk.