Twitter Announces a New Topics Feature, More Robust Search, Event Notifications, and More

Twitter is one of the most popular social platforms in the wild, and it’s designed to not only keep people connected, but also offer a means to stay aware of real-time events as they happen.

In an effort to make Twitter even more in-the-moment, the social network has announced a plethora of additions and changes coming to the platform. The first of which is a new tab that will make it easier and faster to get from different areas of news coverage a user might be interested in. The upcoming “Topics” tab will be found in the Explore section of the service’s mobile apps, and it will allow users to move between categories of news like entertainment, world events, and others. Twitter says it’s testing the new feature right now, but it won’t arrive for a couple more months.

Search is getting overhauled as well. Now, when you use the search function Twitter will show a variety of different content that might be pertinent to what you are looking for. That includes stories, videos, and more — all right there at the top of the search results.

“At the top of search results, you’ll see related news, events, or stories and be able to tap in to get a recap and see the latest discussion, videos or scores.”

Expanding upon a feature that Twitter launched late last year to keep users up-to-date on live sporting events, the social network is expanding the “Happening Now” feature to cover general news, both as it breaks and in a more personalized fashion. This new feature is rolling out now, so you should start to see new tweets that are focused on breaking news right at the top of your timeline.

Notifications are getting refined, too, as Twitter aims to get people into the news as it happens — even if they aren’t in the app. So the company is working on personalized notifications for the content that you are interested in, as well as breaking news:

“Now we’re experimenting with sending notifications to you based on your interests (like who you follow and what you Tweet about), so you won’t miss a beat.”

Meanwhile, the Moments section is getting a minor change to the way you utilize the feature. Now instead of swiping in a horizontal way to get from one story to the next, you’ll need to swipe up and down, as Twitter is aligning Moments in a more vertical fashion.

Our Take

Twitter is a social network, but the company, especially over the last few years, definitely sees itself as a means to get news in a more direct way, too. To that effect, these changes definitely fall in line. I wonder how helpful those notifications will be.

[via Twitter]