Twitter Launches Custom TimelinesBy: Chris Crum - November 12, 2013
Twitter has launched a new feature called Custom Timelines. This simply enables you to create and share a timeline based on specific tweets of your choosing. These can include your own tweets as well as tweets from others.
The feature is similar to Twitter’s Lists feature, except that instead of including every tweet from each person you add, it just includes individual tweets that you add.
You can also embed your custom timelines just like any other embeddable widget:
“Custom timelines are an entirely new type of timeline –– one that you create,” writes Twitter’s Brian Ellin in a blog post. “You name it, and choose the Tweets you want to add to it, either by hand or programmatically using the API (more on that below). This means that when the conversation around an event or topic takes off on Twitter, you have the opportunity to create a timeline that surfaces what you believe to be the most noteworthy, relevant Tweets.”
“Share the best Tweets about a topic you care about, or an event –– planned or unplanned –– that’s happening right now,” he says. “Whether you want to collect the best Tweets about a TV show or help people find the latest information about fast-moving real-time situations, custom timelines let you give everyone a place to follow along.”
He shares a few examples of how people are using them. Carson Daly is using a custom timeline as “a live companion” to tonight’s competition on The Voice. Politico is using them for a political “tweet hub“.
You can add tweets by hand, or you can do so via the new custom timelines API (beta).
Interestingly, Twitter has chosen to make the manual addition of tweets to a custom timeline a TweetDeck feature, though the timelines live on Twitter itself as public pages. You can use your TweetDeck panes to drag tweets over to your new custom timeline, and do what you want with it from there.