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Twitter’s New Explore Tab Is All About Live Video

Variety logo Variety 1/26/2017 Janko Roettgers
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Twitter started to roll out a new Explore tab in its mobile apps Thursday that takes the place of the existing Moments tab, deemphasizing what was once seen as a key initiative to win over casual users. Burt at its core, the new Explore tab is about putting live video front and center.

Twitter announced the user interface change on its blog, telling users that the new tab was “part of our continued efforts to make it easier to see what’s happening.” The company is rolling it out on iOS first, and will bring it to Android devices in the coming weeks.

The move has been widely seen as a blow to Moments, Twitter’s visual curation of tweets that was launched with much fanfare in late 2015. Moments was seen as a way to make Twitter more digestible for casual users, but there’s little evidence that the format has fundamentally changed the way Twitter is being used.

Twitter was quick to emphasize Thursday that Moments are not dead: “Nothing is going away – we’re just making it easier to find what you want.” That’s true:  The new tab will still include Moments, but also trending topics, search and live video.

The latter seems to be the real focus of the new Explore tab, which serves up live video on top of other content. Twitter has in 2016 put a big emphasis on live video streaming, both through dedicated deals with broadcasters like Bloomberg and sports leagues like the NBA, as well as through a tighter integration with Periscope.

However, finding those live streams still has been tedious. With the Explore tab, the company can now show off its live video crown jewels more easily.

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