Introducing the Twitter Fiction Festival

introducing the twitter fiction festival twitterfictionToday sees the launch of the first Twitter Fiction Festival, a five day “virtual event” that seeks to celebrate Twitter’s unique status as the social network that likes to tell stories. Announced last month by Twitter Media Team’s Andrew Fitzgerald and showcasing different fictional projects playing with the dual potentials of narrative as a form and Twitter as a medium, the Twitter Fiction Festival is also a reminder of the international reach of Twitter as a social network, with projects coming from five continents and in five different languages during the Festival’s run.

Fitzgerald introduced the Festival in a post on the official Twitter blog last month, quoting Michigan State University professor Christine Greenhow as saying that “Tweeting can be thought of as a new literary practice” (She also said, although Fitzgerald didn’t share this second line, that it was “changing the way we experience what we read and what we write,” something that those of us who have wished we could hashtag non-Twitter conversations have discovered to our peril) and pointing out that the network and format has become “a frontier for creative experimentation.” With the Festival, he explained, “we want to invite authors and creative storytellers around the world to push the bounds of whats possible with Twitter content.”

Yesterday, he returned to the blog to share that, since the announcement of the Festival, Twitter has received “a wide array of entries from 20+ countries,” selecting a number of projects from established writers and newcomers to be promoted on a special Fiction Festival landing page between today and the official end of the Festival on Sunday. Almost thirty projects have been selected, ranging from four Parisian writers aiming to collaboratively build sonnets together with the hashtag #TwitRature to author Lauren Beukes writing what she’s describing as #LitMash stories that will create new tales based upon follower suggestions that really shouldn’t belong together, with a couple of murder mysteries thrown in for followers to try and solve somewhere in the middle, as well as writers attempting to tell stories in which their characters narrate the action entirely through tweets they’ve composed themselves. (Go here for a complete list.)

In addition to the officially-selected accounts, Twitter users can join in by Tweeting their own fiction with the hashtag #twitterfiction. “We’ll highlight a number of your stories from the @twitterbooks account,” Fitzgerald added.

Of course, all this writing has to have an audience. “The Twitter Fiction Festival isn’t just for writers— it’s for readers too,” Fitzgerald wrote, addressing that need. “You can enjoy the showcase selections at the #twitterfiction page. There will be stories being told on that page at all hours of the day during the Festival. You can also find and follow accounts telling stories during the festival by searching the #twitterfiction hashtag.”

The Festival runs through Sunday.

Social Media

3D Facebook photos jump out of the newsfeed, no glasses needed

You're not seeing things -- that photo in your Facebook newsfeed is 3D. Launching today, 3D Facebook Photos use the depth maps from dual-lens smartphones to add dimension to an image as you move your phone.
Social Media

Grow your Twitter audience overnight with these simple tips and tricks

Using Twitter can be intimidating, but these tips will help you feel less inadequate when you look at your follower count. As long as you use a bit of moderation, you'll soon be one step closer to social media fame.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in October, from 'Mindhunter’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Social Media

Instagram is testing a new way for you to look through your feed

Instagram is constantly tweaking its app to help give its users the best experience possible, so how do you like the sound of tapping — instead of swiping — to look through your feed?
Computing

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Social Media

Like a pocketable personal stylist, Pinterest overhauls shopping tools

Pinterest shopping just got a bit better with a trio of updates now rolling out to Pinterest. The first replaces Buyable Pins with Product Pins for more features, including knowing whether or not a product is in stock.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.
Social Media

Twitter has sorted out those weird notifications it was sending

Twitter started churning out weird notifications of seemingly nonsensical letters and numbers to many of its users on Tuesday morning. The bizarre incident even prompted Twitter boss Jack Dorsey to get involved.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Home Theater

Facebook might be planning a streaming box for your TV that watches you back

Facebook is reportedly working on a piece of streaming media hardware for your living room with a built-in camera for video calls, something people may not want given the company's recent controversies.