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From Amanda Palmer to Mountain Dew - Meet Twitter's New Curators

theguardian.com
The Twitter anti-Twitter revolution continues. Last week we reported on Project Lightning, a movement to organise Twitter-hosted material about specific events into consistent information timelines which you can swipe through at your leisure. It's a neat idea and I'll be interested to see what it looks like once it's done, but now they've taken another step away from the standard Twitter feed, and a rather strange one.

Twitter have decided to lend a little bit more influence to some of their more widely followed users, enabling them to curate 'collections' of tweets that they think their followers might be interested in. All that you need to do is navigate your way onto the account of one of these 'curators' and hit the new 'browse collection' button. Said curators range from the undeniably interesting (Amanda Palmer, The Wirecutter, Game of Thrones, Reese Witherspoon, TechCrunch, Threadless) to the glaringly corporate (Mountain Dew, Beats by Dre, Nike, Disney Store, Target) and finally to the 'who the hell cares!?' (Steve Aoki, William Shatner, Demi Lovato).

It is, admittedly, a pretty broad spread, at least it seems to be at first. Even a slight foray into this brave new world reveals an overwhelmingly self-promotional ethos. If the (individual) curators were actually sharing things they were personally interesting as well as flogging their own wears, it would at least have the veneer of something interesting, but that's almost non-existent. Certainly if you're a fan of Amanda Palmer or 30 Seconds to Mars then there's value in having all their pertinent material in one convenient place, but isn't that what websites are for?

Well, that brings us around to the other feature that comes packaged with these curated collections. Now, specific products have their own Twitter pages with text, image and video information about the item and, of course, a buy button. Hopefully the curated collections feature will ultimately begin to demonstrate that it has potential beyond just being a digital shop window, but right now that's kind of all it is.

"This is just the beginning." The announcement post decrees "In the coming months we’ll be testing more new experiences we hope give you the most personalized and relevant information about the places and things you want to explore." I've never seen 'buy' spelled 'explore' before, must be an old Latin spelling or something.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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From Amanda Palmer to Mountain Dew - Meet Twitter's New Curators Reviewed by Callum Davies on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 Rating: 5

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