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Twitter Will Now Allow You To Follow Live Events, Not Just People

Twitter will start curating and organising tweets, photos and videos from live events in a bid to draw in more users. The new feature called Project Lightning will offer channels for people follow events, not just people, on the service. A team of editors and computer algorithms will ferret out the most relevant tweets from an event unfolding in real time, say an NBA championship game or a shooting and put them in one spot. Users will be able to click on a “live” tab in Twitter’s mobile app that will take them to a guide of events, Click here for official Twitter’s mobile app will show both pre-scheduled events and breaking news events.

Twitter spokeswoman Rachel Millner confirmed the report but declined to comment further. The company, which has faced slow user growth since its IPO, has long argued that much of its value comes from those people who see tweets embedded on other websites, or when surfing while logged out. About one billion people have visited the website, but only 302 million are users.

Twitter’s Top Secret Project Lightning

Twitter unveils ‘Project Lightning’ to bring live events to life:

Each day, users will be able to access a curated set of media centring around seven to ten events within the Twitter app. The events could be big television broadcasts such as the Super Bowl, or breaking news such as the protests in Ferguson, Mo. For each event, Twitter will use a team of human editors to select the best tweets, photos, videos, and Periscope live-streams to present to users, who can swipe through each piece of content one by one.

Twitter users will also be able to follow these events and temporarily see a stream of curated tweets related to the event in their timelines. After the event is complete, tweets from accounts a user isn’t explicitly following will no longer appear in his or her feed.

Twitter is finally launching something that its users might actually want

“It’s a brand-new way to look at tweets,” says Kevin Weil, who runs product for the company. “This is a bold change, not evolutionary.” It is also still a few months out, and things could change. But here’s how it will work.

On Twitter’s mobile app, there will be a new button in the centre of the home row. Press it and you’ll be taken to a screen that will show various events taking place that people are tweeting about. These could be based on prescheduled events like Coachella, the Grammys, or the NBA Finals. But they might also focus on breaking news and ongoing events, like the Nepalese earthquake or Ferguson, Missouri. Essentially, if it’s an event that a lot of people are tweeting about, Twitter could create an experience around it.

The new feature seems similar to Live Stories on Snapchat, which curate a rolling set of photos and images from users based on a single event. Critically, the event feeds will be available to users who are not logged into Twitter as well.

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