Twitter Moments for Gov

Taking a (Twitter) Moment

What Twitter’s Moments Feature Could Mean for DotGov

Recently, Twitter unveiled its new Moments feature, which offers a curated view into conversations surrounding a timely theme or event – without logging in.

There are a few reasons why this could spell good things for online storytelling and news consumption, with a special angle that benefits public sector communicators.

Twitter moments for government

Content curation for more accessible digital government

For those who aren’t everyday Twitter users – or who have never logged in at all – Moments builds a bridge to a new audience. Access and transparency are big themes for government agencies; as a result of this easier access, Moments could serve as another tool in the kit. If you’ve ever used Storify to compile multiple social posts and links together into a single narrative, this is a similar, Twitter-centric approach. In short, it’s signal in the noise, delivered on a platter to anyone, regardless of their experience using Twitter.

Here’s a look at this single-stream, curated view Twitter offered to summarize the conversation around the Boston Globe’s satirical Donald Trump cover. Instead of scrolling through thousands of questionably relevant posts, users can peruse a single-column view that gets right to the point.

Twitter Moments if Trump wins

Divide and conquer with a multichannel strategy

Multichannel strategies help us reach more users, and tailoring content to fit different conversations across channels keeps the behaviors and needs of users front and center. Not everyone gets their information the same way, and organizations shouldn’t assume unique audience members are the same across every platform. That’s why universal access to media matters. If a user opts to customize their own Moments view beyond the publicly available menu, there’s a login option to take that next step.

April 11, 2016 Moments home view, Election 2016 subcategory:

Twitter Moments Election 2016 Trump

Signal in the noise

There’s a special reason why this matters for government. Social media has proven an integral tool for real-time updates for public agencies during crises, as well as storytelling to help describe new programs and services. That can generate a veritable firehose of content to parse, even for the savviest user. One major event can produce an international volume of conversation that trumps some accounts’ entire historical activity leading up to that point. Linking to a curated Moment is one way to offer a more digestible snapshot.

Here’s the catch: currently, not just anyone can curate their own Moment. Twitter’s internal team selects and organizes stories based on their own criteria, such what’s currently trending. You can read more about Twitter’s rationale for that process. If given access in the future, public agencies could use this tool to offer Moments that represent a snapshot vetted by the agency itself.

I shared some additional thoughts with GovTech News on what this means for government. Digital strategy for public impact is my favorite subject – drop me a line and share your thoughts via dotgov@mediacause.org.

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