As some of Twitter’s top team reportedly continue their search for a buyer, its developers are working equally hard to try to get the struggling microblogging service back on track by making changes designed to pull in new users, increase engagement, and boost ad revenue.
The latest effort involves the idea of replacing Moments with an Explore tab to improve content discovery by highlighting trending topics and suggesting other users to follow.
Twitter confirmed to Mashable that it’s currently testing the new tab with a limited number of iOS and Android users, and could roll it out permanently in the near future.
Moments, which launched for U.S.-based users last October, attempts to bring some order to Twitter by pulling together tweets around a single topic or event – often happening at the time – and presenting them in a more organized fashion. It appears to be aimed especially at new users who might find the constant flow of often unrelated content confusing or overwhelming.
But the fact that it’s yet to receive a global rollout, and been replaced in this latest trial by the Explore tab, suggests the company isn’t entirely happy with how it’s working out.
It seems the Explore tab currently being tested is actually a blend of Moments and Discover, which Moments replaced last year. Discover pointed users toward popular tweets while also suggesting other accounts to follow. When Moments arrived, some of Discover’s features were folded into the app’s Search function.
Many longtime users of Twitter can stay comfortably locked inside their carefully curated timeline, seeing other content only via the retweets of users they follow, or if Twitter inserts suggestions. Having a highly visible Explore button may prompt some users to occasionally take a look around, which should ultimately lead to increased engagement.
Twitter often tests new ideas with a limited number of users, so there’s no guarantee Explore will make the cut.
Acquisition or no acquisition, the company will go on trying out new ideas in the hope it can extricate itself from its sticky patch and make the service stronger.