Finally, finally, Twitter has rolled out a version of its storytelling feature called Moments that it should have released at launch. Today, the company says that it’s opening up the Moments platform so anyone can create their own stories using tweets and photos uploaded to the service.
We already knew this day was coming: in August, Twitter expanded access to Moments to also include a broader set of influencers and brands. It promised also it would make Moments a consumer-facing feature in the “coming months.” Moments, by way of background, was previously code-named Project Lightning.
It first launched a year ago as an effort to give people another reason to use Twitter, in light of challenges with stalling user growth. The feature brought to mind the short-form content that’s now popular elsewhere on mobile, like Snapchat’s Stories, for example.
Of course, it’s somewhat odd that Moments wasn’t a user-facing feature from day one. There’s already such a need for a way to aggregate collections of tweets into a cohesive story, that third parties like Storify stepped in long ago with their own tools for the task.
Plus, by way of crowdsourcing, Twitter could have tapped into other ongoing trends like “tweetstorms” (longer thoughts told as a series of tweets), and shifted those to Moments, potentially increasing clicks and engagement numbers. User-facing Moments could even have led to viral hits or memes. (Perhaps, those will still come about now that the tool is open to anyone.)
To create your own Moment, you’ll click into the new “Moments” tab on your profile. Here you’ll find a collection of the Moments you’ve already created, alongside a button to create a new one. The tool lets you set a “Cover” using photos or videos from tweets, or an image of your choosing. Afterwards, you can find tweets to add in a variety of ways.
You can pull tweets from your favorites (“Tweets I’ve liked”), by account, via a Twitter search, or you can add them directly using the tweet’s link. The interface looks to be a lot quicker than using Storify’s creation tools, as it turns out. And when you’re finished, you can share your Moment via tweet. Others can then flip through your Moment right on Twitter, or embed it elsewhere on the web.
Moments is rolling out now for everyone, and Twitter has also released a how-to guide – as a Moment, naturally – to help you get started.