Keeping up with the ever-changing social media landscape is a job in and of itself. Every week the big social media guns announce a new update, product, way to advertise or even a completely new layout. This week is no different – Twitter announced ‘Project Lightning:’ a special timeline specifically for events.
Twitter is working to release the new timeline by the end of the year even though the name has yet to be finalized; Project Lightning and ‘Moments’ seem to be the front runners. Regardless of the name, the update means users can follow events like the Oscars, the World Cup or even breaking news through a real-time stream of posts, photos and videos. Even broader in scope, a marketer can target engaged audiences, such as “back to school.”
In addition to live streaming events, Twitter will be launching a special dashboard to correspond with the events timeline. Twitter plans to introduce a calendar for users to see upcoming events as well as a dashboard for marketers that includes demographic data like who you follow, what you tweet ad what tweets you engage with.
So what does this mean exactly?
- You are following an event, not an individual account.
- The the curated material will not appear in your normal timeline, but rather a completely separate tab.
- The collections will be embedded off site to attract non-users.
- You do not need a Twitter account to follow along with events. Twitter hopes this will encourage people to become active users since they have argued their user base is actually much larger than 300 million due to site visits from non-users.
- What you actually want to see will be categorized to your specific liking.
Still confused? Think Snapchat’s live stream, but on Twitter and more than just videos. Some are even saying Twitter is copying Snapchat’s live stream. As of now a launch date has not been released, but we do know that Twitter is hiring about a dozen curators (7 international and 5 U.S. based) and will also use machine-learning technology. How Twitter plans to make money off of this has not been released yet. Until then, it will remain a mystery as to how this will affect their competitors, the general landscape of Twitter and marketers who plan to use this new events concept.