On the 10th of October, Twitter released a new feature called “Happening Now”. It’s aimed at newcomers to the site, by highlighting groups of tweets about a trending topic. It’s beginning with big sporting events in the US, before expanding to other areas like entertainment and breaking news.
What Does This Mean for the World of Events?
This is exciting for the future of events. As we’ve seen, Snapchat’s ‘story’ feature makes an appearance on most social media platforms now, boosting FOMO through the roof! The future of the combined event is undeniable, event tech means that your event can market itself for the future. An event app can integrate with your social media channels, meaning that it will be even easier for attendees to share highlights. The future of event apps will most likely include in-app ‘stories’, which could perhaps be downloaded by planners and used to showcase event highlights.
Hasn’t Twitter Done This Before?
Much like “Happening Now”, Moments offers a way for attendees to learn more about a given timely topic across a number of categories such as sports, news, and entertainment.
But Twitter Moments are a curated selection of tweets that tell a story, while Happening Now will take users to a dedicated timeline of tweets related to the event at hand. Moments are also often more visual, featuring images and videos, which is why they’ve been likened to Twitter’s version of Snapchat or Instagram’s “Stories.” Who knows, event apps may catch up in the near future.
What Makes Happening Now Different?
In a demo of the new feature posted to the official @Twitter account, there are Happening Now events for large sporting events shown at the top of the Twitter timeline. You can swipe horizontally through these events, each depicted with a title and an image.
When you tap into an event to see more, a customised timeline containing real-time tweets about the event appears.
Twitter already offers ways to tune into live events via its network, including via its live video streams of an event, as well as by following an event’s hashtag.
Happening Now builds on top of Twitter’s understanding of how to sort tweets associated with an event, like live video. The tweets will display algorithmically in these new, custom Happening Now timelines.
What’s interesting about this new implementation is that it’s not entirely hashtag dependent.