Twitter Curated Stories*Originally published in Marion's blog.

Twitter is challenging us to curate and share more compelling stories.

For years we have done just that (minus a few Twitter feuds). We’ve logged into the social media platform, clicked or tapped on the feather icon and began to type ‘what’s happening’. Methodically we sat, our fingers twitching, as we constructed the perfect story in 140 characters or less. Then we’d click ‘tweet’ to send our micro-story off into the world.

Hoping it would be seen.

However, with the cloud of pollution our Twitter feeds have become, it’s increasingly more difficult to have a single tweet stand out. On average, a tweet lasts 18 minutes, and that’s IF it’s been re-tweeted at least once (which is likeliest to happen in the first seven minutes). Our carefully condensed thoughts, with its perfectly paired hashtags, aren’t getting the limelight they deserve. It can be frustrating, and it might leave you wondering: “I’m bothering because….?”.

Well, Twitter noticed the pattern. Their solution: the installation of a new “Moments” element into their interface that takes the power of story and drops it into the Twittersphere. Now, this “ecosystem” (as they like to call it) is extended to the masses of Twitter with the Curator Tool, which they announced last Wednesday, October 21st.

And it’s actually pretty cool.

Creating a hashtag or trending topic is one of the best ways to gain engagement on Twitter. Each thread is its own little community. Each has its own story. But there are a few downfalls to this feature: they can get over crowded with unauthentic tweets–people who jump on the hashtag bandwagon–and the “plot” of the story can be weak. This can lead to a clouded, uncompelling story with a message that is hard to read. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have an audience participating in your hashtag or topic, but what are you really left with? A page refresh or a closed tab and the story is gone. It becomes just another tale lost within the Twittersphere.

Keyword there is Twittersphere. These trending stories live on Twitter. What the Curator tool allows you to do is collect the tweets from a specific hashtag or trending topic and place them within your mobile app or website, which is really the place YOU want your audience to be. The end result is a story curated with the specific tweets that are able to live where ever you can embed the line of code Twitter generates for you.

Now you might be asking, what makes it so different then embedded tweets? Great question. And the simple answer is ‘not much’. These new curated twitter stories are essentially fancy embedded tweets that have been organized in a grid format. What’s really great, however, is that you can update this grid of tweets instantly within the new Curator Tool. So, as the story keep progressing, you can change it accordingly (without having to deal with coding in the backend of your website).

What Do Twitter Curated Stories Look Like?

Now to the fun part. Two of my favorite things are dogs and stories. I combined the two and added the fun element of a costume parade to curate the Twitter story “Dogs Parading In Costumes” (real original title, I know) that highlights the dog costume parades this past weekend in Boston and New York City. Here’s the story:

Why Should You Care?

If you have a topic or hashtag trend on Twitter, you must maximize its content currency. Having hundreds of individuals engage with you is content gold, and it’s smart for you (as a business or brand) to capitalize on it. By curating these stories from tweets, you’re able to extend the life of a story and have it live forever within your own personal online space (website or mobile app). Plus, you get to pick and choose which tweets to use that will best authentically represent your story–and leave those hashtag-bandwagon-jumping tweeters behind!

There’s still more to learn about Twitter’s Curator tool and how effective it will be for individuals creating these stories. What I see as a benefit now, and why I am speaking of it in such a bright light, is that Twitter Curated stories can be a great way to add fluidity to your social media content strategy and brand story.

Yes, I’m a fan of story and all the forms in which it can be told. Props to Twitter for giving us another way to construct and share our stories.

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