Twitter's new Explore tab puts emphasis on live video
- Twitter is adding a new "Explore" tab to its mobile app that will include Moments, search, trends and live video, per a company blog post. Explore is already available on the iOS app and will make its way to Android phones in the coming weeks.
- The company conducted tests with users and concluded the Explore tab was the best way to find news and what's trending on the app.
- The new tab also seems to take a cue from what is proving to be very popular on social media platforms right now — live video. The Explore tab essentially prioritizes live video over other content, including curated tweets, which it previously made a big deal over when it launched Moments.
Twitter has been banking heavily on the success of live video — exemplified in the numerous deals it has in place with professional sports leagues like the NFL — but it only rolled out Periscope streaming options for users in December. The new Explore tab is another step the company is taking to improve the user experience when it comes to live, allowing for easier search and discovery for popular video streams and news.
Tardy integrations of live offerings available for users may hurt Twitter's early foothold in the now white-hot space, however. The loser in this move is Moments, Twitter’s curated tweet feature that rolled out in late 2015. The Explore tab is taking up Moments’ mobile screen real estate, while Moments is now relegated to a spot within the new tab.
Explore, on the whole, seems to emphasize video over tweets, showing how serious Twitter is about the medium. Tweets have long been Twitter's go-to content type, but that may be changing as it searches out better ways to ensure profitability and increase both user and ad revenue growth, which have been stagnant.
Twitter is perhaps feeling increased pressure to commit to live video as competitors like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories continue to ramp up their offerings. Recent research from UBS Evidence Lab showed that Facebook Live beat YouTube to become the most popular platform for user streaming over a six-month period last year, while overall streaming numbers were down.