Could Twitter become an essential, real-time news alerts service, in addition to its current, up-to-the-minute feed?
That's what the platform is hoping, with a new test of a push notification process for Indian users which will keep them updated on key happenings from the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
As explained by Twitter:
"In India, [we] recently launched a push notification feature, where the platform occasionally pushes personalized news notifications in sports, entertainment or current affairs so people can stay more connected to what’s happening in their world. By tapping on this notification, users will be taken to a Twitter Moment about the breaking news topic. People will be served these notifications based on their interests via a combination of work by Twitter’s curation team and algorithms. The curation team includes a number of former journalists and people who used to work in newsrooms. Any user can turn off these notifications by visiting their settings and toggling to turn off the feature."
It's an interesting initiative - Twitter has tried similar in the past, with breaking news notifications on major events.
Those were slightly different, in that they prompted users to follow along for more updates, whereas this new, curated feed, in relation, specifically, to the Cricket World Cup, will take users direct to a relevant Moment, which will also be curated, highlighting the top tweets, and tweeters. If successful, the new prompts could improve on-platform engagement by leading users through to more relevant, real-time information.
Of course, it's not that different from the currently available options - right now, you can opt-in to various push notifications from Twitter, which include relevant Moments, Highlights and News, as well as Emergency Alerts. The main difference with this iteration is that Twitter's looking to boost engagement around a single event - and with millions of tweets already being sent in relation to the start of the cricket season, it makes sense for Twitter to put increased focus on the tournament for Indian users.
It'll be interesting to see how this new initiative goes, and whether Twitter looks to roll out similar for other major events, with curated Moments on key updates. Twitter still hasn't worked out how to fully capitalize on its potential for breaking news coverage, and this test could help it find a new way to connect, and boost this element.