Twitter Announces Events-Based Project Lightning Feature

Twitter Announces Events-Based Project Lightning Feature
Twitter's #Music app may not have been very successful, but the social media platform remains very popular among bands and fans alike. Soon, there will be a new dimension to the Twitter experience, as the service will be introducing a new feature called Project Lightning, which will appear prominently in an upcoming version of the app.

Project Lightning emphasizes major current events, making it a bit like an more immersive update on Twitter's trending topics feature. When there is an event that lots of people are tweeting about — in the music world, this could include Coachella or the Grammys — Project Lightning will allow users to explore curated content based on that event.

The idea of curation is key here — Twitter will have a team of editors (headed up by Katie Jacobs Stanton) combing through tweets and selecting the best and most relevant ones to form a real-time chronicle of an event. For mobile users, these tweets won't appear in a standard Twitter timeline — instead, users will be presented with tweets, photos and videos that take up the entire screen and can be scrolled through with a swipe of the finger.

Furthermore, it's possible to subscribe to an event. This will mean that curated tweets relevant to an event will be integrated into a user's timeline. Once the event is over, the tweets will stop.

There will be around seven to 10 Lightning events a day. It will be possible to view these events whether or not you're logged in to Twitter; it will even be possible to embed the Lightning events onto other webpages.

"We've seen in the past that we have so much conversation around events. The Oscars, or the NBA Finals. Breaking news events like Ferguson. Memes like Alex From Target," Stanton told BuzzFeed. "But the challenge we've had over the years is, although we have the world's greatest content, it's like having a television without a channel guide or even a remote control. There's no way to really find it or contextualize that content. So [Project Lightning] is this beautiful vessel for us to surface great content and make it more delightful."

There's currently no firm arrival date for Project Lightning, but look for it to arrive later this year.