Twitter Inc. is getting serious about its plan to replace newspapers. Okay, maybe Twitter doesn’t really want to replace newspapers, but the firm is working hard at rewriting how people access and consume news.
BuzzFeed reports that Twitter is working on a project that can change the face of news. Twitter’s Project Lightning is a tool that will provide real-time curated news content on trending events. It doesn’t matter if it is sport, cultural, political, religious or breaking news, Twitter will build an experience rich in Tweets, images and videos around it inasmuch as enough people are talking about it.
Other great features of Project Lightning are that it will be available to users whether they are logged in on the platform or not. In fact, people who are not Twitter users will be able to access, use, understand Project Lightning without needing to have a deep handle on how Twitter works.
Twitter has been grappling with the issue of slowing user growth and a chronic inability to monetize its current user base. If Project Lightning succeeds, it should help Twitter increase its user base as by making the platform friendlier to first time users. More so, it would help Twitter build a stronger base of active users who will always be returning for fresh content
The New Digital Interest in News
It seems that everybody in the tech space wants to provide news to users. Of course, there’s a certain amount of cat pictures you’ll like on Facebook before it becomes tiring. However, news is always fresh and it is a low-cost way to keep users engaged.
A new study conducted by Pew Research Center in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, finds that clear majorities of Twitter (63%) and Facebook users (63%) say each platform serves as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family. The numbers are up from the results of a 2013 study that show 52% of Twitter users and 47% of Facebook users getting their news from the platforms.
Facebook is already trying to change news forever with its Instant Articles. Google has created Google News Lab as a home point for journalists. Apple’s News Apps was also created to find interesting stories and pair them with the right users.
Twitter’s Unique Edge in the News Media
The fact that other tech players are getting into the news space shows that Twitter might already have a gold mine if it can monetize its service. From the days of the plane ditching in the Hudson river in 2009, Twitter has grown to be the platform to discuss news events with other people globally.
In simple words, Twitter is the digital newsstand where users get to have real-time discussions on current events. Project Lightning might be just the catalyst that Twitter needs to enter into a season of profits.