Twitter is reportedly testing a new “News” tab in its iOS and Android apps, which appears alongside the notifications tab, and gives users quick access to a section called “Trending News,” which shows news stories directly from publishers.
The feature, first reported by Buzzfeed, is apparently Twitter’s answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles, and makes use of partnerships by select publishers. So far, they’re working with a number reported to be in the double digits, but the number would likely grow once the feature graduates from testing, assuming that happens.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) August 3, 2015
The official Twitter statement is as follows (via The Verge):
“We’re experimenting with a news experience on iOS and Android as we continue to explore new ways to surface the best content to users.”
Twitter is already a major source of news and a place where many get a lot of the news they read in the first place. It’s also a place where news often breaks before any publication actually picks a story up, not to mention being a source of commentary that’s frequently included in news coverage on all kinds of topics.
While Twitter already has a popular Trends features where users can discover stories, a News feature seems like a perfect fit, particularly as rival Facebook continues to put more emphasis on news discovery.
In fact, Facebook is testing a new live events feature making use of its Place Tips functionality, which many see as a direct competitor to Twitter.
All of this follows news from earlier this summer that Twitter is working on something called “Project Lightning,” which lets people follow events better.
Image via Garrett Heath, Flickr Creative Commons