Twitter today placed itself in more direct competition with the BBC and other broadcast news media as it launched its picture-led “Twitter Moments” service in the UK.
The service, curated by a team of British-based journalists, collates the biggest stories of the moment into packages of video, photography and eye-witness tweeting under categories including news, sports and entertainment.
Twitter Moments has been launched with 18 production partners, many of them established media brands, such as The Sun, Sky News, BuzzFeed UK and Glamour magazine, all of which have been trained to produce content in the Moments format. The UK is the third territory to receive the service, after the United States and Brazil.
Moments, which carries a lightning flash logo, is seen as a key development in the ten-year story of Twitter, which was founded with the format of mini-blogs of 140 characters or less. In the new year, Twitter will monetize the UK service by allowing commercial partners to produce “Promoted Moments”.
Joanna Geary, head of Twitter Moments in Europe, said Moments would help new Twitter users in navigating the avalanche of content on the site. “It’s actually built around tweets but they look and feel very different to your average Twitter timeline, not least because the content is really showing up picture and video first, “ she said.
Twitter Moments UK launched with coverage of British astronaut Tim Peake, the opening of Star Wars: Force Awakens, an immigration story from Lesbos, and the fallout from Chelsea’s latest defeat. Ms Geary said: “From the very first offering there’s a very distinctly British flavour. You probably won’t get baseball, you might get a bit of (Donald) Trump – but who can resist?”
She said the service was not merely a vehicle for observations from the famous. “It’s not just about stars, celebrities. It’s also about eye-witnesses, people on the street, the great one-liners, the conversations people are having.”
Other UK content partners are the Premier League, BBC’s Have I Got News for You, VICE, Sugarscape, Food Network, The Economist, the Met Office, Popjustice, Global Radio, Vevo, BT Sport, Empire, Sky Sports and STV.
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