Twitter's 'most important feature ever' has come to the UK

Twitter Moments UKBusiness Insider/Twitter screenshotHow Twitter Moments looks in the UK.

Twitter has rolled out its Moments platform to the UK, the third territory to launch the feature.

The UK office is home to Twitter’s largest engineering team outside the US and has 200 employees in total. It also hosts a dedicated British Moments team, who all have journalism backgrounds and curate the Moments service.

Announcing the launch at Twitter’s UK office in London, Moments lead Joanna Geary said Moments attempts to answer the question: “How can I find out what’s happening right now on Twitter, where’s the great content?”

She added: “It’s not just about stars, celebrities. It’s also about eyewitness, people on the street, the great one liners, the conversations people are having, the whole diversity of the story on Twitter.”

Tuesday morning’s Moments section curated stories about UK astronaut Tim Peake making his landmark journey to the International Space Station, tweets and videos from the Star Wars premiere in London, and a world news story about migrants arriving in Lesbos.

Geary said Twitter Moments utilises tools that “exploit the Twitter algorithm,” such as Dataminr — a popular tool in news rooms that spots news stories as they break.

While most Moments are curated by Twitter’s in-house team, the company also has a number of dedicated (and diverse) UK partners including: the Premier League, Glamour magazine, The Sun, “Have I Got News for You,” VICE, Sugarscape, Food Network, Sky News, The Economist, the Met Office, Popjustice, Global Radio, Vevo, BT Sport, Empire, Sky Sports, STV, and Buzzfeed UK.

Twitter expects to announce more partners over the coming months and has published its guidelines for curating stories here.

Moments is accessible on the official Twitter app by clicking on a lightning bolt tab. From there, users can swipe through to sections including news, entertainment, sports, and fun. If they tap on a story, they can view more information about the particular tweet, and they can dismiss the particular “Moment” by swiping down. You can read more about how to use Twitter Moments here.

Twitter first unveiled Moments in the US in October. Back then, Wired magazine described it as “Twitter’s most important feature ever” as the company seeks to address how it can make the platform accessible to the mass market.

Twitter is monetizing Moments with an ad format called “Promoted Moments,” which places stories curated by brands in the Moments homepage. Digiday reported that a Promoted Moment will set advertisers back $1 million. Advertisers including Starbucks and Verizon have trialed the format so far.

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