Opening Up Moments

Nine months ago, I wrote a post saying that opening up Twitter’s Moments would make it a way better product.

The news came out yesterday that Twitter has now opened up Moments to certain users and plans to open up to all users in the coming months.

I am not sure why it took Twitter so long to do this. Maybe the curation tools were not that good and they needed to improve them before opening it up.

Maybe they hadn’t figured out how to keep spam, porn, abusive content, etc out of Moments.

Maybe they hadn’t figured out the discovery issues once there are hundreds of thousands of Moments being created every day.

Whatever the reasons for it, I think this is great news for Twitter and Twitter users.

Moments are a super easy way to get a quick glimpse of something that is happening right now. I use it every day, many times a day. Opening it up will make it deeper, richer, and better.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I was a big detractor of Moments but admit, I do use it many times a day to monitor the games and the timeline of gaffes by the donald.I do get the same from my Facebook feed but this is much cleaner.

    1. John Pepper

      Moments still not sticking for me. The feeds seem irrelevant to my interests. Maybe that will change.

  2. LIAD

    I can’t speak to moments as thus far it’s given me zero value and is just a blight on the app nav bar.It is getting to the point though where I’m sufficiently worried about the future of twitter inc, based on its financial and growth numbers, that I’d love them to offer a paid account option. At least then we could help guarantee it’s ongoing viability and longevity and thus safeguard all the value we’ve put in and extracted over the past decade.

    1. fredwilson

      You alone can’t keep Twitter in business. However ….Most freemium businesses get a 2-5% take rate on the paid option. I think a paid option to avoid the ads is a neat idea. Twitter does $2.4bn in annual revenue. If 5% of its ~300mm MAUs (15mm) paid $4.99 a month that would be close to a billion of new annual revenue. Obviously the ad revenues would be impacted somewhat. I like it

      1. LE

        Sorry but that math and guesstimate is way way way to optimistic and impossible to believe. It also assumes that freemium 2 to 5 has proven to be the number of people that will pay to avoid ads (specifically of the type that appear on twitter). Also assumes that the 300mm users are of the type and have the financial resources to pay $60 per year to avoid ads. I say it’s not even close with the Twitter user base.

        1. fredwilson

          yeah, you are right. i was just responding to LIAD’s idea

        2. Jess Bachman

          Yeah, I would say its off by several orders of magnitude.

        3. cavepainting

          You are right. I really don’t think avoiding ads is a sufficient rationale for coughing up money for twitter. The ads are annoying but really do not dilute the experience. The more real opportunity is related to offering tools for power users that facilitate better engagement with followers, schedule tweets, curate content, customize profile page, etc. Hard to believe that Twitter has not acquired Buffer or added similar capabilities yet.

        4. PhilipSugar

          Completely. Look up the PennyGap:…This is especially badif the key to your success is users.

      2. Kirsten Lambertsen

        They should test this. This and a suite of power tools for power users.

      3. Salt Shaker

        Is there precedent for an established brand successfully going free to pay post-launch? Hard enough to model freemium at get go, even harder to do when users already exposed to non-pay.

        1. Rob Larson

          Sure. LinkedIn did that. Launched product in 2003, introduced subscription option in 2005.Amazon did the same, if you think of their prime membership as the premium upsell. (not a freemium model in the pure definition, but they match up with the relevant/important aspects of the freemium model.)I’m sure there are others.The key is that you can’t take away something that was previously free. You have to add additional value, and charge for the added value, leaving the original core offering free.

          1. Salt Shaker

            Good examples, thanks. Amazon Prime is killing it cause the value prop on the upsell is strong. Not sure about LinkedIn though, other than for HR and recruiters.

          2. Rob Larson

            Agreed LinkedIn most helpful to recruiters, and is priced as such for their service plans. But there is still value (at a lower price) for “normal folk” who are looking to network. The search capability with LinkedIn gets better with a premium membership. Instead of just being able to search your own network for people at a specific company / with a specific background, you can search everyone. Helpful for people who want to for example find people at a specific company that went to their school / have other background in common with them.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Linkedin = Post your resume without repercussions and have recruiters search it.Prime = get your stuff faster that you buy because it is the best price

    2. Richard

      Ads are definitely NOT the problem on Twitter. The algorithm is. For most people the time spent looking at their feeds isn’t justified. Twitter should go all in (which will annoy heck out of some) and let machine learning innovate the feed algorithm already.

      1. LIAD

        I’ve no issue with the ads. (they don’t deliver me value but i accept them as a minor annoyance and the cost of using the service.)my point is from what i read twitter is prone to a takeover of some sort. chances are it will result in a degradation of service. if twitter could turn on a new revenue stream, effectively crowdfund their ‘independence’, would be less risk of a service many benefit from greatly from going down the toilet.

      2. fredwilson


      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I consider myself a level 7 Power User on Twitter πŸ˜‰ And most of my Twitter pals are the same or higher. None of them want Twitter to decide what our graphs look like via algorithm. We would hate that.We all agree that Twitter continues to miss the goldmine right under its nose: *lists*. We all use lists to curate our graphs. TweetDeck has also become an afterthought, it seems. I mean, Twitter still makes me tap three times to even get to my lists.Better tools that allow the *user* to *curate* their stream is what we’d all like to see. And, I certainly would be more than willing to pay a monthly fee to utilize those tools.

        1. jason wright

          is Twitter a decentralised network with a single node (if that’s not a contradictory way of putting it)?

        2. Jess Bachman

          Well an ad impression costs the same to a level 7 power user than it does to a filthy casual, so why not jam the funnel up with casuals using algo curated spoon fed tweets. amiright.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            “Filthy casual” is a keeper :-)To treat that seriously for a moment: I guess if they want to algo the main feed, fine.A lot of power users follow back *everyone* who follows them. They never look at the main graph. They look at their lists.

        3. Richard

          Exactly, you can’t start dating until you break off with your current gf/bf. Sure its going to hurt, but there is no sense staying in the current relationship if its going nowhere and you have years and years before an outside event break it up anyway.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            If by that you mean that Twitter has to stop serving its power users, aka early adopters, I would disagree. They are there for new feature/product development. They’re needed for Periscope, etc.I’m not saying ignore spreading out to a more mass user base, but that’s a different exercise which should belong to a different team.Lots of great products are paid for by the power users and made ubiquitous by the ‘filthy casuals’ (as Jess Bachman so eloquently calls them, ha!).

          2. Richard

            If FB followed this conservative approach it would still be a dating site for Harvard undergraduates.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I’d argue that FB followed a fairly classic Crossing-the-Chasm approach to growth that did not leave power users behind. In fact, in many ways they followed those early adopters as they became adults, parents, grandparents, alumni, etc.

          4. PhilipSugar

            Sorry, I’d have to disagree.

          5. Kirsten Lambertsen


          6. PhilipSugar

            I just am agreeing with Rich on this side of the beef. That is a more positive way of saying it I suppose.Early on you had to have a college email to use facebook. I’m sure some of its users didn’t want it opened up to their parents.This happens with all technology and frankly employees. As you transition people get left behind. Its really kind of sad but its a fact of life.I’m not disagreeing with your point on Twitter. Frankly filthy casual is way too nice of a word to describe my twitter usage.

          7. Richard

            College to Grandparents in 10 years, now that’s an fast living!!!

          8. Kirsten Lambertsen

            πŸ˜› I just know people who went from being parents to being grandparents during that time and were on FB during the transition.But you see my point, no? FB went from being a place to keep up with who you’re IN school with to keeping up with who you WENT to school with to keeping up with their kids where they’re going to school now. And then all the branches that can come organically from that.

      4. cavepainting

        Yep. very true. They have also treated direct messaging like a step child which represents a big opportunity. Not to mention premium features for power users related to curation and follower engagement.

      5. Nate

        Have you tried Highlights?

      6. Matt A. Myers

        Part of the previous mechanics of Twitter, before the algorithm ordering content for us, was that there was the game of scanning quickly through a lot of content. You’d get little bits of reward here and there, or you’d curate out people/accounts who you post too much too-uninteresting content for your individual tastes. Adding an algorithm, although allowing for easier injection of ads, and perhaps more relevant content – spoiled the game.As you say, you either have to go full YOLO or let users curate for themselves.

      7. Janetrwillis

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      8. Twain Twain

        On algorithms and machine learning … it’s easier said than done, unfortunately.Getting the machines to understand the content to deliver targeted ads, reduce spam, reduce harassment etc is a non-trivial problem and not something Twitter’s Product team have been able to do effectively, according to …Buzzfeed: β€œA Honeypot For Assholes”: Inside Twitter’s 10-Year Failure To Stop Harassment*…Moreover, existing Natural Language frameworks (e.g. Google Word2Vec and, by association, Stanford’s GloVe) are an Achilles heel for machine learning across the industry:MIT Technology Review: Google Word2Vec is “blatantly sexist,” according to MS Research:* https://www.technologyrevie…Venturebeat: Deep Learning alone will never outperform Natural Language Understanding*…Silicon Valley is boxed in by frameworks and algorithms that its foremost insiders created and keep iterating on. And they can’t think or code themselves out of those boxes — despite the $ billions of resources, hundred thousands of engineers and time runway given by investors to innovate and fix problems.The solutions to the frameworks and algorithms will likely be invented by a Silicon Valley outsider.@fredwilson:disqus @mattamyers:disqus

    3. Anne Libby


    4. cavepainting

      If Twitter can become the destination for live events and curated news by collaborating with mainstream media, it may still find ways to peel off a non-trivial portion of TV advertising budgets.I just wonder if they are barking up the wrong tree by focusing on native advertising within timelines vs. video advertising. They should be competing for dollars flowing into TV vs. Facebook. Of course that means more focus on aggregating and curating the best video content and helping consumers find and engage with that contentIn the long term, a mainstream broadcaster (CBS / NBC / ABC ) + Twitter may be what is required to convert it into a media powerhouse.

  3. Vendita Auto

    Would have used “Moments” Technology at its best.Bride walked down aisle by man with her father’s heart…

  4. William Mougayar

    What I liked about Moments is how quickly you can review news/content. I think it was designed for speed of consumption, and that’s a good objective.

    1. Vivek Kumar

      Speed’s crucial to retain interest. Being able to curate would be the key. (@TwtTimes) was solving the curation problems partially, but was bit challenging to use

  5. jason wright

    nine months later and Twitter’s little bundle of human life is finally born.

  6. DJL

    This sounds good for Twitter, but I am wondering if I can trust the curatorial (editorial) process. It now seems common practice among tech companies to either suppress or promote certain news stories. (And it is common knowledge which way they lean.) To me, this gives big tech too much power to create news – not just assemble news. The traditional news media became an arm of the Democrat party many years ago.I already hear pundits referring to Facebooks “likes” and Twitter “follows” to as a measure of a person’s (candidate’s) popularity. This makes perfect sense to me. That is the power and promise of social media. But it all depends on the platforms being honest about their algorithms. Otherwise Twitter just becomes a digital version of CNN.

  7. pointsnfigures

    Glad to see Twitter fighting. If they hadn’t put the finishing touches on blowing up the news media sector, one of them would buy them!

  8. Tom Labus

    Their true value is cultural, It’s one of the few things that binds us together.

  9. kevando

    Who cares about moments, is Twitter gonna have a badass TV app for Thursday night football?

  10. Peter Van Dijck

    I still don’t see Moments in my app or the Twitter web site. Perhaps because I am in Colombia?

  11. LE

    The design of the moments page (web) is poor: a nominal amount of stories above the fold and in no way enough compelling information to make me want to visit on a regular basis. Way way to much white space. Gold standard for this (in my eyes) is the NYT home page which has evolved overtime to be just right. They are 100% lacking in the design department (perhaps mobile is better).

    1. Jess Bachman

      Agree, twitters design decisions have always baffled me.

      1. LE

        This all flows from the top. It’s the same reason Microsoft marketing has such poor design. Anyone who doesn’t agree has no design sense themselves!!! If you don’t know what is good you often don’t know enough (or care enough) to even hire the right people or decide from the materials they ask you to sign off on.I am noting also that twitter still doesn’t do roll overs on the icons at the bottom of tweets. They assume everyone knows what they mean. They don’t with the exception of the heart.

        1. awaldstein

          Twitter and MIcrosoft’s failure as marketers is not about design it is about knowing what they are about as a brand and intent in communications.Their designs of course have flaws but the design is not the thing to fix.

          1. LE

            Their designs of course have flaws but the design is not the thing to fix.Agree.However failure (or more actually not doing as well as you could) has many fathers. I am just pointing out one of them. And I was actually just referring to my opinion of Microsofts design and in the case of Twitter the usability issues are obvious (same with ebay). That is not to say that ebay (or Microsoft) is not a successful business they are. Just that in that one area they are lacking. In my opinion, not something I read anywhere.CNN also sucks as well and they make money and have been considered a success. Ted Turner probably sweated the smallest and importantly insignificant detail on his sailing yachts (a guess on my part) as does an athlete who will shave body hairs to increase chance of success. However the big three networks are leagues ahead in professional graphics.Saying “design is not the thing to fix” while correct would be like talking about a restaurant with poor food and saying the ambiance is not the thing to fix. (Sure because it doesn’t matter if the food sucks..)

          2. awaldstein

            Damn–we agree on this!

  12. Ben Stein

    I’m surprised no one has made the comparison before, but now in the wake of a story (as in Snapchat Story) being a newly-popularized type of content, moments feels cut from the same cloth. All social networks are converging to provide the same offerings, and now it’s a question of where creators post and where consumers go first.Anecdotally, I’ve found moments to be good at getting me the top stories from the Olympics (i.e. Phelps and Ledecky coverage).

  13. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I understand that the initiatives we’re seeing are probably all about attracting new users, laggards. Obviously necessary if world domination is the goal πŸ˜‰ A lot of folks on Product Hunt are excited about opening up Moments. It’s a great idea.But not making hay out of lists and TweetDeck perplexes me. As I mentioned elsewhere, I know lots of people who’d pay a monthly sub to get better curation tools (not algos) and to see TweetDeck evolve.In this day of lean methodology, revenue generating mechanisms associated with lists, TweetDeck, etc. could be tested before they invested (no-cost ‘buttons to nowhere’). It’s perplexing that they appear to be ignored. Everyone I know uses lists like crazy, yet I have to tap 3 times to get to my lists.I just don’t understand why they aren’t diving on the more obvious opportunities that so many of us have expressed are there. It’s tempting to believe it’s because they aren’t glamorous enough…Still a fan. Still bullish on Twitter.

  14. Salt Shaker

    TWTR is banking on a sports strat to expand interest and usage. Partnerships w/ the NFL and NBA are testament to that. An event strat makes sense and they should do the same w/ music and entertainment. TWTR stock is still in the crapper…looking for momentum or will likely unload at a loss by yearend.

  15. jim

    God! Twitter is done. It will NOT be in biz in 5 years.Twitter was AOL instant messenger.

  16. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:NEW YORK (AP) β€” John Saunders, the versatile sportscaster who has hosted ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters” for the last 15 years, has died, the network announced Wednesday. He was 61.Saunders joined ESPN in 1986. He did play-by-play on various sports, led NHL Stanley Cup Final and World Series coverage on ESPN and ABC, and hosted studio shows for baseball, college football and college basketball.A cause of death was not announced.Saunders took over as host of “The Sports Reporters,” a Sunday morning staple of ESPN programming, after Dick Schaap died in 2001. Saunders played the role of calm traffic cop on the panel show that features three sports journalists volleying opinions on the top sports news of the day.

  17. cavepainting

    Yep. I love Twitter Moments and opening it up and democratizing curation is the best thing that can happen to it. I wrote more on the same a few days back.

  18. Janetrwillis

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  19. jason wright


  20. peter

    not really sure to be honest

  21. jason wright

    That’s a different kind of investment.