“Until today, you had to go to a few different places to find each of these experiences. As part of our continued efforts to make it easier to see what’s happening, we’re bringing all these together. Very soon, you’ll be able to find trends, Moments, search, and the best of live video, all within the new Explore tab.”
— Angela Lam, Twitter product designer
Twitter’s Moments feature debuted in October of 2015 as a destination within the application that served as a portal for users to tell short stories via aggregated tweets. It wasn’t until September 2016 that Moments became available to all users.
That excitement, however, was short lived — in October 2016, one year after launching the feature, the little blue bird began testing a new element called ‘Explore’ which sought to replace the Moments front-and-center placement on the app.
In late January 2017, the official rollout of Explore began, as confirmed by Twitter’s blog. Beginning with iOS users, Twitter will now replace Moments with the new element. In the weeks to follow, Android users will also gain access to Explore. There has currently been no word as to when the feature will hit the desktop version of the site.
What exactly is Explore and why has Twitter prioritized this over Moments?
Since Twitter began testing the Explore tab, responses from its user base have been quite positive, hence the hasty implementation. According to Twitter representatives, test groups of the new feature stated, “. . . that the new Explore tab helped them easily find news, what’s trending, and what’s popular right now.”
Additionally, because Explore is taking center stage near the space that Moments used to reside, that feature will now simply be integrated into the Explore feature. The company assured its Moments-lovers that it would not disappear:
“Nothing is going away – we’re just making it easier to find what you want. Explore will begin rolling out today on Twitter for iOS, and in the coming weeks on Twitter for Android. Make sure you have the latest version of your app to check it out. And of course, we will continue to listen to your feedback to make Explore even better, based on your thoughts and some ideas we have up our sleeve!”
Explore is now the app’s destination where users can uncover all of the latest happenings in the Twitter-verse including Moments, trends, search and live video broadcasts. This will be a more streamlined way for the company to focus in on things like Moments as Explore touts a more predominant header to feature such functions.
The restructuring comes on the heel of Twitter’s slowest revenue growth in three years, leaving many to speculate if this is one of the company’s last ditch efforts to save itself; much like it did with removing media attachments as part of the character count.
Despite that, the change actually does improve Twitter’s usability as Explore centralizes all of the features that allow users to grasp current happenings on the platform and beyond.
For iOS users, Explore can be found just to the left of where Moments used to be on the app’s menu; this space is now occupied by Notifications. If you are not seeing this, be sure to check that you have the latest version of the app.
Once users click the Explore feature, various sections can be found including Trends, Moments, Search and Explore All. Each component displays top highlights for that category and possesses a “More” button to see additional content.
The Trends tab can be customized to help serve users with information that is most interesting and relevant to them.
If you are wondering where Twitter’s Search icon — the magnifying glass — disappeared to, this can also be found under Explore as opposed to its original location on the home navigation bar. Here, users will still be able to search for hashtags and Twitter accounts as normal.
The Moments tab also works just as the feature did in the past; it has now just been intertwined with other elements under Explore.
The Explore All section features various categories for users to delve into. Current sections include NFL, Sports, News and Entertainment and Fun. This also gives Twitter a more prominent way to highlight its Thursday night NFL game streams.
These tabs are sure to change as the year progresses, for instance now that the NFL is in its off-season it won’t be highlighted. Additionally, there is a decent chance that they would vary based on location as well considering that the NFL is not nearly as relevant in other regions of the globe.
And much like its NFL broadcasts, Explore gives Twitter a better avenue for promoting live video events as a whole. This is vital when examining the impact that live streaming is currently having on the digital and social landscapes.
This does, however, leave many pondering Periscope’s fate as Twitter also enabled users to “go live” directly from its application, much as Facebook has done. With the recent demise of Vine and Twitter selling its developer platform, Fabric, to Google, many are wondering if Periscope is next up on the chopping block.
Explore certainly seems like an advantageous element for Twitter to integrate into its extremely noisy platform. It gives users a much more direct approach to finding breaking news, moments, and events while giving prominence to features like live video. The real question, however, is if this feature has come too late to make any sort of impact on Twitter’s dwindling user base and minimal growth in revenue.
Do you think that the Explore tab could help to revitalize Twitter?
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.