Twitter announced today that they will be rolling out a new feature, called custom timelines to select users of the microblogging service through Tweetdeck. The new feature will give users the ability to create their own custom built streams of information out of content being shared in real time on Twitter.
This can include anything that is within a tweet, including hashtags, phrases or specific keywords and can be created either manually by each user themselves or programmatically build custom timelines by using a new Twitter API.
The Custom Timeline will affectively act as Storify has done for some time now and let it’s users curate their own personalised content around a specific event or topic. Of course, Storify also incorporates Facebook updates into it’s application giving it at least one advantage.
What will be interesting to see is the uptake of users from inside the world of sport who can now manually curate fan generated content surrounding a match day or specific event. For sporting clubs this will create a whole new level of fan engagement and will only act to spur on levels of fan interaction, while keeping the club themselves as the focal point.
Each custom timeline will have it’s own specific URL on twitter meaning it can be easily shared with users to follow along with or can be embedded on web sites to bring the story to the fans there.
“This means that when the conversation around an event or topic takes off on Twitter, you have the opportunity to create a timeline that surfaces what you believe to be the most noteworthy, relevant Tweets,” explained Brian Ellin from Twitter in the blog post.
Events such as the World Cup Final next year and the Super Bowl in February generate such a high level of tweets that managing these and curating the best content from them could be a huge benefit to not only the event organisers themselves but to sponsoring brands.
Sponsors have already shelled out serious cash to grab a piece of these massive global events, but tapping into the custom timelines feature could be crucial in their digital success surrounding major events. Imagine Coca Cola curating the most popular custom timeline for WC2014? That, seemingly, would be a massive bonus for the brand.
Furthermore, how vital will it become for branded content to get a look in at these custom timelines? Will this call for improved content or for bigger ad spend from brands?
Custom Timelines will be first released to TweetDeck users over the coming days but will presumably, if successful, expand to more of Twitter’s products.