Twitter is today releasing a new feature called “Happening Now” aimed to make its service more accessible to newcomers by highlighting groups of tweets about a topic, beginning with sports, before expanding to other areas like entertainment and breaking news. If this sounds similar to Twitter’s existing Moments feature….well, it is.
Moments, too, offers a way to learn more about a given timely topic across a number of categories, like Sports, News and Entertainment.
But Twitter Moments are a curated selection of tweets that tell a story, while Happening Now will take users to a dedicated timeline of tweets related to the event at hand. Moments are also often more visual, featuring images and videos, which is why they’ve been likened to Twitter’s version of Snapchat or Instagram’s “Stories.”
Feel the roar of the crowd, no matter where you are.
— Twitter (@Twitter) October 10, 2017
In a demo of the new feature posted to the official @Twitter account, there are Happening Now events for MLB, NBA, and NFL games shown at the top of the Twitter timeline. You can swipe horizontally through these events, each depicted with a title (e.g. “NFL Giants vs. Buccaneers”) and an image.
When you tap into a game to see more, the current score appears at the top of a customized timeline containing real-time tweets about the event.
Twitter, of course, already offers ways to tune into live events via its network, including via its live video streams of an event, as well as by following an event’s hashtag – like #wwdc for Apple’s Developer conference, for instance.
Happening Now, though, builds on top of Twitter’s understanding of how to sort tweets associated with an event, like live video. The tweets will display algorithmically in these new custom Happening Now timelines.