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Twitter begins UK Moments rollout in bid to further engage passive audiences


By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

December 15, 2015 | 4 min read

Twitter is further rolling out its curation service Moments beginning with the launch of the service in the UK, with Buzzfeed, Sky News, Vice Media among its launch media partners, as it seeks to further bolster engagement with its network of 300 million-plus users.

Twitter officially unveiled Moments in the UK today (15 December) with the bew feature appearing as a lightning bolt tab within the Twitter app and desktop versions, which then lets users browse the biggest stories on the social network, regardless of who they follow.

The debut comes two months after the feature's US activation, and this is the third territory Twitter has made the function available in.

The new feature, which is slowly being rolled out in the UK before a further launch elsewhere in Europe, has been created to present stories in a way that’s easily accessible for anyone unfamiliar with the platform.

The Moments tab presents users with a list of stories that have been curated by a team of ex-journalists, and feature photos, videos and texts from tweets, all of which are segmented by categories, such as news, sport, entertainment, and fun, etc.

A blog post explaining Twitter Moments reads: “Twitter is absolutely part of the national conversation in UK across everything from sports to TV to politics to local news and music. Previously you may have felt you could only keep up by following thousands of accounts; with Moments, we do that for you.”

Speaking at the UK launch event, Joanna Geary, Twitter UK’s head of partnerships, told journalists Twitter Moments was launched to entice “semi-engaged” users who “kind of don’t get Twitter” to further engage with the social network, or “interest network” as Twitter employees often describe it.

Dara Nasr, Twitter UK’s managing director, said the company was currently speaking with advertisers and media agencies over potential commercial opportunities with Twitter Moments, such as Promoted Tweets to appear within the streams, but no confirmed UK campaigns had been booked thus far.

When quizzed on reports that Twitter was asking US advertisers for a minimum spend of $1m for Twitter Moments ads, he was unable to comment, but he did note that its UK sales team were “taking learnings” from its US counterparts.

Although he did note that it would be in a position to more publicly discuss UK commercial packages around Twitter Moments in the early part of 2016.

Twitter Moments is slowly being rolled out to its wider user base. The full list of Twitter Moments media partners includes: the Premier League, Glamour magazine, The Sun, Have I Got News for You, VICE, Sugarscape, Food Network, Sky News, The Economist, the Met Office, Popjustice, Global Radio, Vevo, BT Sport, Empire, Sky Sports, STV, and Buzzfeed UK.

Tom Standage, deputy editor and head of digital strategy for The Economist, said the title is particpating in the launch of Twitter Moments to amplify its audience.

He added: “We already have 11.5 million Twitter followers, but we hope this will introduce an even wider audience to our journalism. We particularly like the way Moments presents a handful of highlights from Twitter’s infinite stream, making it finishable.

"That very closely aligns with our mission of providing the antidote to information overload, by distilling the news into a summary you can actually finish.”

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