Twitter Is Experimenting With A Way To point to You Even More Breaking News Tweets

An emboldened Twitter is seeking to push further into news as Facebook pulls back.

The company is building unique, algorithmically curated timelines during gargantuan news events and promoting them at the top of users’ timelines in a test, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

On Wednesday, Twitter’s test highlighted curated timelines — featuring tweets from news organizations and users that are not news professionals — for the congressional special election in Pennsylvania, the death of Stephen Hawking, and a lawsuit filed by the family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich against Fox News.

“People arrive to Twitter to see and talk approximately what’s happening. We’re working on ways to achieve it easier for everyone to find relevant news and the surrounding conversation so they can stay informed approximately what things to them,” Twitter product VP Keith Coleman told BuzzFeed News in a statement.

The test is an extension of Twitter’s “Happening Now” feature that until now only highlighted sports tweets. During gargantuan breaking news events, Twitter will promote the curated timelines via a module at the top of the domestic timeline. Tapping into the module will lead you to an algorithmically curated timeline made up of tweets entirely approximately the news event. It feels a little similar to the News tab Twitter tested in 2015 that never took off.

Yet just a few years later, the proliferation of fake news and weaponized misinformation bear contributed to a decision by Twitter’s biggest competitor, Facebook, to pull back from news, which recently said it intends to drop News’s reach by 20% in the News Feed. Facebook’s ride has created an opening for Twitter, which has in recent years decided it’s a news app and has worked to emphasize news content. Now, the company is doing whatever it can to catch advantage of the opportunity Facebook handed it.

The curated news test is currently underway with a small group on iOS and Android in the US and could eventually feature multiple timelines for the same news event, including a one that recaps tweets and another with the latest tweets, the spokesperson said.

whether done right, these news timelines will replicate what is widely regarded as one of Twitter’s best parts, creating shared experiences around news events, where people follow along together and watch the news unfold in real time. These shared experiences can pop up during major moments like presidential debates, but bear been difficult to replicate at scale. whether Twitter’s test can deliver that, it could be a major unique development for the company coming just as Facebook is giving it an opening.

Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.

Contact Alex Kantrowitz at

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