Up until now Twitter has been good at two things: using hashtags to group similar content and starting freestyle rap battles. Starting today, however, we can add "breaking news" to that list.
The company that built its reputation on short, 140-character text messages has started to dip its toes into curated news content today with an update to its Android and iOS apps.
The update will place a News icon in between the notifications and messages tabs that will show trending headlines from a few dozen major news outlets like the BBC, The New York Times and USA Today instead of burying them in your news feed.
One possibility for the change is that it would allow advertisers to slip in undetected between news stories in lieu of sticking out like sore thumbs on your Twitter feed.
The update is already live in Japan and will start rolling out to a handful of US users starting today. Twitter hasn't yet announced plans yet for a worldwide release.
Turn and face the strange, changes
But mobile users aren't the only ones getting a few new bells and whistles, desktop users can look forward to an update of their own.
If you've been to Twitter's homepage anytime in the last year, you've probably been greeted by a low-resolution photo and a text overlay that spells out technological platitudes like "share content with your friends – and other interesting people" and "stay up-to-date on interesting information!"
As far as homepages go, it was decidedly unhelpful.
Starting today Twitter is rolling out a new visage that not only shows posts from real users including those interesting people you've heard so much about, but includes categories that helps you see what's going on in those areas in real-time.
The decision to change the homepage apparently came from Twitter's Interim CEO Jack Dorsey, who's also the current CEO of Square, Inc., the electronic payment platform established in 2010 that uses small credit card readers to accept secure payments.
The new homepage has already started popping up for some users, and will be rolling out gradually to everyone in the coming days.
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