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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Twitter Replaces ‘Discover’ Tool With Detailed Trending Topics

Twitter is rolling out a new feature for its mobile app that highlights trending topics along with a description for each.
Twitter Inc.

Twitter wants users to discover the best content. On Wednesday, the company said the namesake tool built to do just that is being retired.
In its place, the company is rolling out a new feature for its mobile app that highlights trending topics, part of Twitter’s ongoing effort to help users find timely and interesting tweets.
Going forward, trending topics — often in the form of hashtags — will appear on the app’s search page with brief descriptions appearing under each one to explain the meaning. That can be helpful as some hashtags are obscure. The new feature is similar to how Facebook includes a one-line description below trending items listed next to the news feed on the desktop version. Twitter said it may also show how many tweets have been sent related to each trend and whether it is gaining or losing traction.
The new mobile trends feature is launching in the U.S. in English for iOS and Android. The company says it is continuing to experiment with similar features for
The Discover timeline — spearheaded by co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey in 2011 when he made a brief return to the company to redirect its product vision — was supposed to be an effortless way for users to find interesting content. The semi-tailored feature surfaced tweets from different accounts based on factors like who they followed and the accounts those people followed. The trending topics appeared at the top of the Discover timeline, usually as hashtags that at times were hard to understand or unclear why they’re trending. For instance, two top mobile trends on Wednesday are #BostonBombing and #WaystoEnjoyAGoodLife.
But some users complained the Discover feature surfaced content that wasn’t relevant to them.
In its quest to attract more users and keep them around, Twitter has sought for years to find ways to surface the best and most relevant content when it matters. Twitter has released a number of product enhancements in recent months to reduce the learning curve so beginners can get value from the service faster. It has streamlined the sign-up process to cut down the amount of time it takes for new users to figure out which accounts to follow. And it has introduced a “while you were away” feature that summarizes the best tweets users may have missed while they were signed off.

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