Twitter’s Debate Streaming Audience Grew as TV Slumped

An interested and surprising development. Twitter's investment in streaming live events looks like it may already be picking up steam.

Twitter streamed Bloomberg Politics’ debate coverage on its platform Sunday night, reaching 3.2 million unique viewers, an increase of 30% over the first presidential debate in September, which reached 2.5 million unique viewers.... The television audience fell for the second presidential debate to 66.5 million viewers, down from 84 million for the first debate.

Twitter Moments - Because "Stories" Was Already Taken

Stories for everybody! Twitter is opening their Moments feature to the public, because Instagram Stories happened and now it's time to respond. The existing Moments tab will likely stay the same, but Moments created by individuals will be similar to moments currently created by brands and influencers. They will be accessible via a button on the user's profile that will take you to their Moments.

This strikes me as something they should have rolled out publicly from the beginning, but the Instagram launch may have accelerated their timeline.

Snapchat primed us for Stories, and Instagram (which has already copied Moments, mind you) polished the feature off. Moments is likely the best of the three, but who wants to wait for it?
— Nate Swanner, The Next Web

Twitter Dives Into Live Sports

Earlier this year, Twitter made a $10 Million deal with the NFL to livestream Thursday Night Football games this fall. Today, they've begun testing the new functionality that will presumably be used for that partnership. A new page is live with a Wimbledon live video stream and a feed of tweets using the Wimbledon hashtag.

Personally, I prefer a two-screen setup, but having this all-in-one view would have been very useful for me a few years back. I can see college students and others who rely heavily on a laptop making the most use of this. And I'd love to see them bring it to awards shows, the World Series, and other events that dominate water cooler conversation. 

🔗 Twitter to Loosen 140-Character Restriction | Twitter Blog

Finally, the day is coming. Twitter officially announced today that they soon will be loosening up their iconic 140-character limit. I've always been a proponent of Tweeting in 140 characters or less, but the way they are going about this is exactly the way it should be. Rather than abolishing the limit all together or agreeing on a new number, they are allowing @names and media attachments to be exempt from the limit. This keeps the spirit of the 140 limit while acknowledging the reality of Twitter in 2016. Honestly, it's overdue, but I'm glad to see it happening. Maybe soon you'll be able to edit typos in Tweets? Fingers crossed...

In the coming months we’ll make changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters, so for instance, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters.
— Todd Sherman, Sr. Product Manager

Coming soon: express even more in 140 characters | Twitter Blog

🔗 New Twitter Connect Tab Suggests Accounts to Follow Based on Your Behavior | Twitter Blog

Twitter has suggested people to follow for years. Since the ill-fated Suggested User List, which led to a small number of celebrities like Ashton Kutcher gaining an extreme number of followers in the early days, Twitter has tried to be more strategic in the way they recommend new accounts. This is a logical progression in their ongoing effort to suggest people you might want to Tweet with.

To give you the best recommendations — which we’ll continue to refine over time — we look at who you already follow, Tweets you like, popular accounts in your local area, what’s happening in the world right now, and more. We’ll also let you know exactly why we’re showing you each recommendation.

A better way to connect with people | Twitter Blog

🔗 Twitter Rolls Out GIF Search | The Verge

The day we have waited for is here.

The company said today that it will begin rolling out a GIF button on iOS, Android, and the web. Tap it and you can search for GIFs using keywords, then insert them into your tweets and direct messages with a tap. The feature is powered by GIF search engines Riffsy and Giphy.

Twitter rolls out native GIF search powered by Giphy and Riffsy | The Verge