Twitter has been heavily criticized lately: user growth is slowing, ad revenue is meager, the CEO just resigned, and even though the platform is the king of mass media, sports, and celebrity, the average joe simply doesn’t seem to care much. But when Twitter flips the switch on Project Lightning they could flip the script on the whole world and take their dominance of real-time interaction to the next level.
Here is the nitty gritty on Project Lightning:
- New “Event Pages” will turn trending topics into temporary information hubs
- Twitter employees will curate the content shown on these new all-important pages
- The pages will feature Tweets, photos, and Vines selected by staff
- Live videos from Periscope will be prominently displayed when most important
- Mobile devices will display one piece of content per screen with Tinder-like swiping to get to additional content
Imagine following breaking news stories like the Baltimore Riots or NBA Finals with these new pages. Instead of watching the news or reading blogs that reference individual tweets, Twitter will make itself the source that a user can follow by reading the curated coverage.
This takes Twitter’s already popular “Trending Topics” to the next level. Trending topics are inherently overwhelming because by the time it is trending, there is so much constant content flowing in that it’s impossible to follow any type of dialogue. Project Lightning will solve this problem by building an entirely new experience for the most important topics in real-time. And did we mention that members will be able to follow individual events, helping to attract those previously overwhelmed average joes?
This could change everything.
According to outgoing CEO Dick Costolo’s interview with Buzzfeed, Project Lightning has been in the works “for a long, long time” and will launch later this year. You’ll find these event pages on the web (logged in or out), in the Twitter app, and even find events embedded on other sites.
I’m not a big Twitterer and largely find the social experience exhausting and annoying, but when this goes live? You can count me in.