Twitter allegedly entering news curation with Project Lightning

Project Lightning BuzzFeed mockup 001

News curation has shortly become all the rage in the technology and media industries. Facebook sped up your News Feed with quick-loading Instant Article.

Then a new ‘Apple News’ app followed, a major initiative by Apple to host news articles and employ human editors to surface best content for its uses.

And now, Twitter is reportedly joining the fray and creating a similar concept of its own. They’re calling it Project Lightning and, as reported by BuzzFeed’s Mat Honan, it should make important news and events follow you across Twitter platforms, not the other way round.

Project Lightning is curated stories presented full-screen with cherry-picked tweets, photos, real-time Periscope broadcasts, videos, Vines and more.

To make it a reality, Twitter has enlisted help of human editors who curate the best tweets and content posted on the service around specific events.

“Launch one of these events and you’ll see a visually driven, curated collection of tweets” packaged into a collection, Stanton writes.

Users will be able to follow these events via a new tab, just like they can follow individuals on Twitter. Curated event tweets will then blend into your timeline. Even better, the stream will stop and you will automatically unfollow an event at its conclusion.

One example describes a curated Grammys event that might show Ellen DeGeneres’ tweets from the Grammys even if you’re not actually following her on Twitter.

“And you can still experience curated events without following anything just by going to that center tab,” reads the article.

These Lightning events will be viewable to everyone, including logged out and inactive users and even those who are not on Twitter at all. Event streams will appear across Twitter platforms, including mobile apps, and as embeds on other webpages.

“If they are embedded off-site, the events will continue to update as more curated tweets are added,” which will certainly add more value to Lightning events and Twitter as a source of as-it-happens news updated in real-time.

I’m very much interested to see this project succeed.

As a geek, Twitter’s timeline concept has always been pretty messy so imagine how intimidating it is for novice users. Like it or not, Twitter is simply too much mind work for non-techies.

This firehose of unordered thoughts needs to be rethought deeply and thoroughly. There’s so much noise out there that needs to be filtered out and curated before ordinary people accept Twitter in their lives.

The company’s been moving too slowly and in the wrong direction for such a long time now. I’m actually not surprised at all that growth has been stagnating as most normals sign up only to post a few random tweets and never come back.

As Stanton sums it up nicely, “although we have the world’s greatest content, it’s like having a television without a channel guide or even a remote control.”

Top of post: an artist rendition of what Project Lightning might look like.

Source: BuzzFeed