October 7, 2015
CooperKatz & Co. President and CEO, Anne Green weighs in on the announcement of Twitter ‘Moments’ and what that means for the public relations industry.
Twitter has been challenged with slowing growth, as well as low levels of usage among significant portions of its base. Most people commenting on the Moments announcement have noted that first, it’s been “long-awaited” (and long-overdue?) and second, this kind of move toward greater content curation — especially around events that touch a mass consciousness — is needed to make the platform more relevant to more people. The fact that they will be supporting Moments with a formal (and rare) marketing campaign says a lot about the stakes of this new endeavor, which is debuting at the same moment that “@Jack is Back.”
From the public relations point of view, Moments should provide another compelling platform for real-time social listening. Again, this is meant to help capture and curate those big moments in time, when cascades of tweets about a single issue or event pour across Twitter. That format has been great for those who know how to follow or tap into the flow — but not so great for those on the fringes of Twitter usage. PR professionals tend to be in the Twitter “power user” category, given that it is an essential tool relative to earned media, social engagement and monitoring / measurement. We already know how to use to platform to follow and gauge the conversation. However, Moments will provide a new and (hopefully) fresh view of the real-time Twitter ecosystem, at those “moments” when conversation levels are spiking around critical issues of interest.
What is yet to be seen is how (and if) PR professionals can influence the flow. Clearly, Twitter has set up an infrastructure for paid brand relationships via “promoted moments.” In addition, there is the potential for engagement with the outside media partners who will contribute. However, what of the “human editors” touted with this announcement? Will there be the ability to engage with Twitter’s own brand new team of curators? That will be interesting to watch as Moments evolves.
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