Kate Bould | @Kate_Bould Today’s forecast — lightning! Although Twitter’s current CEO Dick Costolo is resigning, both he and interim Jack Dorsey are excited about the new developments for Twitter Lightning that should be ready within the next few months. So here’s what you need to know about the new Project Lightning.
Twitter can be difficult to use and understand for some users, plus difficult to access if you are not a user. In order to help remedy these issues, Twitter is going to start using the resource Lightning to allow non-users to see and follow the big things happening in the Twitter world. The program will be backed by individuals trolling Twitter to see what’s pulling the most attention for that day, such as Alex from Target, the Oscars, etc. Lightning makes it easy to see all of the relevant posts about an event or tag on one platform by bringing together immersive and instantly loading photos and videos, along with the ability to embed those experiences across the web.
On the mobile app, there will be a button in the middle of the home screen, and clicking on it will take you to all of the aggregated content. Lightning will focus on a variety of topics, ranging from cultural moments to events and breaking news.
The idea is to take all these pictures and videos and bring them to life. None of the collections will actually appear on your normal timeline, but rather will take up your entire screen on a separate tab to emphasize the movement and life of these moments. Videos will start playing almost immediately (at lightning speed) to make you feel like you’re not missing out on anything. You can scroll through all of the relevant content and once you reach real time, you will see a little lightning bolt at the bottom of the screen. So, for example, if you’re looking through the aggregated content for the Super Bowl and you start scrolling an hour into the game, you’ll be starting at the beginning of the timeline and can scroll until the current quarter to catch the lightning bolt icon.
Another ruse to get more people looking at Twitter is that you don’t actually have to be logged in or even have a Twitter account to see these awesome compilations. This is a way to reach users on more platforms and also hopefully draw in more people. Twitter is hoping that the new feature will be so enticing that it will convert those viewers into users. This is also possibly going to help make Twitter a little easier to both understand and use for those who are confused by its other features, as Lightning is easy to navigate and does not require an instruction manual.
There will be about 7–10 events per day and the team choosing the makeup of those events will have a policy that they can follow. This makes Twitter editors for news and information, run by real people scrolling through your conversations. Because these events are featured every day, Twitter can bring out those smaller conversations (again, like Alex from Target) and strongly appeal to that niche demographic. Get ready to see the light, and get engaged in today’s conversations.