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Twitter is using Instagram Stories to cement its status as home of breaking news


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

January 25, 2017 | 5 min read

Twitter is using Instagram Stories to bring breaking news to life within its own walls in a move that could help cement its status as a serious news platform.

Twitter is using Instagram Stories

Twitter is using Instagram Stories to cement its status as home of breaking news / Instagram

The social network is making use of Stories in order to share tweets relating to trending topics.

Stories was launched last August to allow Instagram users to share chronological slideshows of videos and pictures with a life-span of 24-hours and despite initial criticism that it had copied Snapchat's Stories format the service has grown to attract more than 150 million daily users.

On Wednesday (25 January) a Story from Twitter's account features tweets from high-profile individuals in relation to the Oscar nominations and implored users to "swipe up to see all of the reactions."

Swiping up took users back to Twitter's Instagram profile which contained a link back to microblogging site.

Twitter has yet to comment on this new approach to sharing news off platform, and The Drum has reached out to the company for more detail but the play follows on from a rebrand last year in which the social network sought to position itself as the home of breaking news.

"Twitter is where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now. From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics – from big events to everyday interests with all the live commentary that makes Twitter unique," said the firm's chief marketing officer, Leslie Berland, at the time.

In 2016, Twitter also altered its classification in Apple's App Store, moving from the 'social network' category and into 'news', downplaying the social element of the site.

In short, Twitter has hardly been hiding its intentions to be seen as a serious news platform, and Jerry Daykin, global digital partner at Carat, thinks the unusual decision to showcase this on one of its rival apps is signal that it's "taking the first step into curating this news itself off platform."

"It could be seen simply as a way of drawing more people into Twitter, but it hints at a world where Twitter is a news brand in itself, communicating across a range of channels including its own," he continued.

"One of Twitter's biggest challenge has been persuading users why and how they should tweet, but in reality as long as enough interesting people are tweeting it doesn't matter if you do or not. By stepping outside its own platform Twitter is showing once and for all that you don't need to be a registered user to be impacted by it."

Twitter only landed on Instagram six days ago, and its updates so far have comprised topical tweets from Trump and Barack Obama as well as images from the Women's March on Washington.

The company is poised to report its end-of-year results, including figues around user growth, on 9 February.

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