Since last year when Twitter saw their management changed due to some looming economic problems that the company was facing, and was projected even to face in the future if a move is not taken, things had started to turn up for the company. In the period of that time till now, we have been treated to a lot of nice and exclusive features on the microblogging platform. Just last year, we saw the introduction of Twitter Moments, a relay of the interface to improve both the web and application experiences and not to leave out, the removal of limitation on messages sent in the DMs. With an advertising platform improvement trailing these features of the past year, Twitter is looking to start the new seas with a bang.
Twitter has been stating it for a while that they hope to branch into news and the reporting of occurrences around the world. Having already proposed to get into this game in a big way, Twitter now has a new feature rolling out to the application version, and this update centers on the news. As indicated by the management of Twitter themselves, and confirmed by BuzzFeed, there would be a new tab tagged ‘news’ which would appear on the screen of the Android and iOS application users. If the screenshots from BuzzFeed are to be taken into consideration, you would see that the latest addition is wedged between both of notifications and messages tabs.
Confirming the move, a spokesperson from Twitter said: “We’re experimenting with a new experience on iOS and Android as we continue to explore a new way to surface the best content to users.” A simple click on the news tab would give you access to a series of breaking news stories which has been curated from major news bodies. To ensure that what they are peddling is authentic and not misleading to their users, Twitter has entered a licensing deal with a series of news houses such as CBS News and the New York Times. If you go further to tap on one of the stories that have been relayed by the tab, you will get to read the excerpts and as well, get a link to see the full article.
To make things further interesting and engaging, you would see the tweets of users who have also read or just tweeted about the news item, and you are always welcome to join the conversation. For those of us that have been connected to Twitter for a while, we cannot but notice the uncanny similarity that exists between this new feature and the old “Discover” tab which has been an integral part of Twitter for a while now. It is, however, more convenient to now source for your news stories via the news tab, given that it is more single-purpose than the Discover tab was meant to serve. This also helps Twitter explain each of the headlines in its navigation menu, which is way better than having to lump everything and stack them up under each other.
This new move shows that the giant social media platform is also looking to start pressing news as a core aspect of its business focus. This, alongside the Project Lighting program which allows you follow events and not just people, is here to show that the rigid Twitter of then is now becoming flexible and expanding to accept changes. While a lot of people would love nothing more than to get their hands on this new piece of an upgrade, you might have to wait a while before it starts to roll out to your region. Currently, it is available on both the iOS and Android platforms in Japan bit for other regions; there is yet to be either a leak or official statement.
We don’t blame them for not having it readily available in the Japanese market might just be something of a beta test. While it is relatively new, Twitter is looking to perfect the feature before it starts to roll out to everyone. For now, it is also reported that the microblogging website is testing content from a few number of partners for now and in the nearest future, they would like to see those numbers grow larger. Having been behind the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat in the matter of news in the past, this new move might be the big break that sees them in the competition with the other social media websites.
It is not also news that Wall Street has been breathing down the neck of Twitter in recent times, asking the company to increase the rate of growth of its users and also, the money it makes from ads placed. With the ‘News’ tab in place and the product and place pages in full swing, Twitter is rising well to the occasion.