Home / News & Analysis / Twitter’s next big move is a revamped hub for everything you want to see

Twitter’s next big move is a revamped hub for everything you want to see

The chronological news feed has been a bit of a looming specter for Twitter . Sure, it’s their bread-and-butter but it only works for users who are willing to put in the time to prune their own feeds and strip away follows while constantly keeping an eye out for new accounts. For Twitter, a major challenge is discovering how they can update the experience for casual users who follow a few accounts but haven’t gotten deep into the discovery phase yet.

Twitter’s efforts to double-down on surfacing live events coverage and catering to users’ specific areas of interest have been an evolving mission for the company, but today, the company is announcing some of their boldest moves yet to change how the app grow to understand a user base on their interactions.

The company is making some major updates to the Explore feed, which will now surface curated news stories surrounding breaking news, live events and stories in a way that will drive a closer fit to individual user’s interests and help them find more of what’s happening across the site. Some of these changes will also be popping up at the top of user home timelines.

For Twitter, it’s a logical evolution of Moments which were introduced in 2015 to drive conversations and curate stories from the Twitterverse.

There’s going to be a big mix of what is being curated by humans and algorithms as the company looks to marry the editorial voice it has built up in Moments with its human curation team with a highly-targeted algorithm that can find interests and grab the latest tweets that meet them. It’s all about striking a balance and understanding the limits of curation in each situation, the company tells me.

“We wouldn’t, for example, set a human on the task of trying to identify all of the relevant live conversations coming out in real time in a particular situation so that’s where algorithmic curation comes in,” Twitter’s Director of Curation Joanna Geary told TechCrunch.

Now, for something like a breaking news story, you’ll be able to find what some of the most important tweets that have really driven the story, alongside a tab to explore what is coming in live.

Twitter has been exploring the promises of the algorithmic feed for quite some time, but it’s opted to push most of these minor updates to the Explore feed or just to the top of users’ main feeds with brief “what you missed” interactions. This isn’t changing with today’s updates either, the company isn’t shifting the fundamentals of how your feed flows back in time, instead its seeking to offer snippets that help you move on tangents for discovery.

“For us, the heart of Twitter is all about discussing and discovering what’s happening right now,” Twitter Senior Director of Product Management Sriram Krishnan told TechCrunch. “People’s home timelines aren’t changing, we are going to show these experiences at the top of your home timeline but everything below it will continue to be the same.”

While users of the service have gotten used to the frequent changes in the company’s Explore tab, what will be new are the push notifications that Twitter is sending to users to direct them towards new or developing stories. Doing this in a highly targeted capacity is going to be pretty critical for Twitter. People are already annoyed by the constant notifications from social media services that they explicitly okayed, when there’s deviation from that people can get upset. Users will be able to shut off these types of notifications if Twitter surfaces stuff that isn’t relevant or welcome, but there’s a lot of potential for payoff if the company does this well.

All of these changes to the Explore tab will be rolling out to users in the U.S. and Canada in the next few months, the company says, while integrations in the home feed are simply “coming soon.”

Check Also

Disrupting the paycheck, Gusto’s Flexible Pay allows employees to pick when they get paid

People should get paid for work they have done. It’s a pretty simple principle of capitalism, but a principle that seems increasingly violated in the modern economy. With semi-monthly paychecks, the work an employee does on the first day of the month won’t be paid until the end of the third week — a delay of up to 21 days. That delay is despite the massive digitalization of bank transfers and accounting over the past few decades that should have made paychecks far more regular. Gusto, a payroll and HR benefits provider focused on small businesses, announced the launch of Flexible Pay today, a new feature that will allow its payroll users to select when they receive their income for work already completed. The feature, which must be switched on by an employer, will cost employers nothing out-of-pocket today. The launch is limited to customers in Texas, but will expand to other states in the coming year. As Gusto CEO Joshua Reeves explained it to me, a kid mowing lawns in a neighborhood has a much more visceral connection to income than the modern knowledge economy worker. Cut the grass, get cash — it’s that simple. He also pointed out, with irony, that terminated employees experience much better payroll service than regular employees: they have to be paid out on their last day of work outside of the standard paycheck schedule. Reeves and his team wanted to offer that flexibility and convenience to every worker. Flexible Pay allows users to choose when they get paid, outside of typical paycheck schedules The key to this new feature has been Gusto’s increasing data about small businesses. Gusto now serves 1 percent of all small businesses in the U.S., and it has comprehensive access to its customers’ financial and payroll data. With integrations to time sheet services and proper risk modeling, Gusto is able to predict exactly what salary a worker has already earned, and can front the money at minimum risk to itself. One major challenge for Gusto was how to reconcile the books of the employer with the irregular paycheck schedules desired by employees. Gusto handles all the logistics transparently, including tax withholding, so that for employers, the paycheck distribution looks and feels “normal” on its books. That means that Gusto is effectively loaning money to companies, since it is paying payroll in advance. Gusto is funding those loans off its balance sheet today, but over time, the company expects to create a financial facility to underwrite the product. For Reeves, Flexible Pay is “the right thing to do.” He believes that this new level of flexibility will empower workers to control their financial lives. In the long run, as more users get habituated to the product and its convenience, he hopes that the feature will draw other employers into using Gusto based on employee demand. The unfortunate reality in the American workforce is that huge numbers of workers live paycheck-to-paycheck, by some counts as many as 80 percent. A bill can come due just a day or two before a paycheck hits, but without cash in a checking account, people often have to resort to predatory financial products like payday loans or high-interest credit cards in order to make ends meet. Flexible Pay is one step in the right direction of fighting for workers to get the money they justly deserve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: Trading in bitcoins or other digital currencies carries a high level of risk and can result in the total loss of the invested capital. theonlinetech.org does not provide investment advice, but only reflects its own opinion. Please ensure that if you trade or invest in bitcoins or other digital currencies (for example, investing in cloud mining services) you fully understand the risks involved! Please also note that some external links are affiliate links.