New Twitter Explore tab could have you glued to its mobile app

twitter explore roll out man holding iphone 6 with on the screen
prykhodov/123RF
Twitter is replacing its Moments tab with a new Explore section on its iOS and Android mobile apps.

The motivation behind the new and improved tab is to bridge the gap between its curated and live news and video features — namely live-streams, search, trends, and Moments. Therefore, those users worried that its Moments feature is going the way of favorites — meaning it’s getting killed off — can rest assured that it remains alive and well.

The change (officially announced on Thursday) has been spotted in the past by Twitter users — with the company previously stating that it was testing it on a handful of members.

Prior to the update, these separate elements of the Twitter experience were scattered across its apps. This made it a bit difficult to track down live-streams on mobile, which were available via Moments. Seeing as live video is an aspect of its service that Twitter has been aggressively expanding with the integration of Periscope into its main app and through content deals with the NFL, NBA, and Bloomberg (among other media companies), it was rather surprising to see it not being promoted more. Even on its desktop site, Twitter highlights live video within its own small, expandable window on the home feed. To not give it prominence on mobile (a place where people are increasingly consuming video) was a glaring error on the part of the platform.

The new Explore tab fixes that by placing live-streams at the top of the display, below which you’ll find trends, and daily Moments. Additionally, right at the top of the section, is the search bar. For Twitter, the tab is a strategic move to bring together promising features (that otherwise may have been neglected) by placing them next to more popular functions (i.e., search, trends). Unlike Moments, it’s also positioned right next to the home tab, again indicating its importance as your gateway into what’s happening on Twitter.

Don’t be surprised if next time you go to check what’s trending you end up watching a live news broadcast or college sports match. After all, more engagement is the end goal here for Twitter.

The Explore tab will start rolling out today on Twitter for iOS and in the coming weeks on Android.

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