Twitter unleashes Moments in the UK

Twitter users in the United Kingdom can now tap into the much-hyped Moments feature to help tame all that tweeting.

The social network launched on Tuesday a UK version of Moments, which uses curated tweets, videos and images to track in real time major trending events including breaking news, concerts and sporting events. UK users can follow the latest on the royal family, global pop star Adele and the Manchester United football club without scrolling through the barrage of miscellaneous tweets in their regular feed.

Highlights of Twitter’s UK Moments on Tuesday included British astronaut Tim Peake’s historic journey to the International Space Station, the arrival of Syrian refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos and the London premiere of the highly anticipated movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“Previously you may have felt you could only keep up by following thousands of accounts; with Moments, we do that for you,” Twitter UK executive Johanna Geary said in a blog post. “It’s all about making it simpler and easier than ever before to get the very most out of Twitter.”

Arguably one of the most important features in Twitter’s history, Moments arrived in the US a day after co-founder Jack Dorsey was reappointed CEO, following a search that some critics called protracted and that led to questions about the company’s direction.

The social network has heavily promoted Moments, hoping the feature will attract a wider, more mainstream audience to jump-start Twitter’s stalled growth and help increase ad sales. Shortly after it rolled out the feature in the US, the social network began letting advertisers weave a series of marketing tweets into a given Moment. Some Wall Street analysts are taking a wait-and-see approach on whether Moments will improve advertising revenue or user growth.

Just as in the US, the UK version of Moments appears when a user clicks the lightning bolt tab in Twitter. Though most of the UK’s Moments will be curated by Twitter, the platform is also partnering with media and sports entities including The Economist and Glamour magazines, the Premier (soccer) League, The Sun newspaper, Sky Sports and Vice, Geary said.

The UK is the third locale where Twitter has launched Moments. The social network unveiled the feature in Brazil last month.

Twitter tweaks photos, displays them in full on your timeline

Last month, Twitter tweaked the “favourites” function, turning them into “likes,” a switch that many users didn’t take well. Now, the social media platform introduced its newest set of changes.

The main tweak is that photos will now be displayed uncropped on timelines accessed through Twitter’s website. Until Tuesday, only a section of an uploaded picture would be displayed natively, with a user needing to click on the cropped image to see it in full. Smaller photos and landscape images will now be automatically shown in their entirety, though longer portrait shots are still slightly cropped.
Twitter has also altered multi-photo displays, which now show one large main picture next to three smaller ones, rather than four equally sized images.

“While Twitter began as an all-text platform, rich media has become essential to the experience,” product manager Akarshan Kumar said alongside the announcement. “Starting today, we’re making your timeline more immersive by uncropping photos, so you can experience and present them as they were meant to be viewed.”

The Twitter team seems to have been working extra hard to update the platform in recent months. In early November, the star icon button to “favourite” a Tweet was swapped for a heart icon that represented a “like” — a minor change that prompted a major response. One month earlier, in October, Twitter introduced its Moments feature.