Twitter will open its storytelling product, Moments, to everyone


Twitter wants people stitching together stories on its platform, too.

A week after Instagram introduced its almost-identical version of Snapchat’s Stories product, Twitter has announced that it will roll out Moments, its less-identical version of Snapchat’s Live Stories product, to everyone.

Sometime “in the coming months,” anyone on Twitter will be able to create a Moment that strings tweets together into a narrative. But first, Twitter is opening the product to more “influencers, partners and brands,” i.e., the people it has or would like to have a business relationship with.

Since the debut of Moments last year, Twitter’s in-house team, as well as certain publishers and advertisers, have been able to create Moments that were typically tied to an ongoing event, news or a specific topic. These Storify-style tweet streams would feature text posts, photos and videos cataloging these subjects in a chronological feed, and people could subscribe to a Moment to have its updates appear in their main Twitter feed.

The initial version of Moments had always seemed like Twitter’s take on Snapchat’s Live Stories that curate people’s snaps around live events, and the general availability of Moments will hopefully keep that comparison and blend it with the tweetstorm instead of recast the product as Twitter’s take on Stories.

It would be easy to compare the public rollout of Twitter’s Moments to Snapchat’s and Instagram’s Stories. As on Snapchat and Instagram, people could use Moments to keep a running diary of their day. But I hope they don’t. Twitter’s Moments could and should be different, and not only because it seems that the majority of people’s tweets are text and links, not photos and videos, as they are on Snapchat and Instagram.

With Stories. people can’t curate their Stories to center on a single subject as easily as it appears they could with Moments. Sure, they can decide to only post photos and videos on a given topic and delete ones that they had already published but decided weren’t a fit. But then it’s weird when that narrative ends, and the story immediately switches to that person playing with a selfie lens.

Meanwhile, Moments can live on their own. They can encapsulate a single subject, then pull together different tweets to explore it, and those tweets can be from anyone. In that way, Moments is more like Live Stories than Stories, but it’s open to everyone, unlike on Snapchat or Instagram. And hopefully, that openness is what makes it different from yet another way for people to document their day.

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