Article

Moments 101: the basics

2 minutes Best Practice

The best Moments are those that reflect what Twitter is truly about – the place where news happens first, but also where you can find the funniest, weirdest, and most engaging stories.

A great Moment is more than just a collection of Tweets about a certain story or event; it has a clear sense of direction and purpose. Unlike the thread, which features related Tweets from a single person or account, Moments can encompass Tweets from multiple sources. They are best when they highlight something unique, elevate an interesting or powerful perspective, or inform people about a complex or important story. The best Moments do all of those things at once.

To learn how to create a Moment, check out this Help Center article.

A good Moment should strive to be:

  • Timely
  • Newsworthy
  • Informative
  • Entertaining
  • Fan-centric
  • Funny or bizarre
  • Surprising

 

The best Tweets to use in a Moment should be:

  • Credible 
  • From the source 
  • From the scene
  • Representative of diverse voices and viewpoints
  • Filled with context, analysis, and relevant details

 

Moments should avoid content that:

  • Encourages illegal activities
  • May be harmful to minors
  • Invade individual privacy
  • Violates our terms of service, privacy policy, or the Twitter rules
  • Is inconsistent with our Moments guidelines and principles

Videos shine in Moments when:

  •  They highlight crucial action, such as footage directly from the scene, or the key viral moment or sports highlight
  • They’re no more than 30 to 60 seconds long (the exception: movie trailers)
  • They work without audio or have subtitles
  • They’re uploaded natively by the source

A good Moments narrative:

  • Takes you behind the scenes in a way that is coherent, unbiased, and conversational
  • Feels like a flowing story, with each Tweet responding or relating to the one preceding it 
  • Provides a rich experience that goes beyond content and reaction
  • Can be composed of multiple types of Tweets including those that: summarize the story (beginning with the original or most important Tweet), provide details and context, feature great videos or images, offer commentary or analysis from experts and influencers, express reactions and diverse views from the public in a respectful and substantive way, show the story from a humorous angle (when appropriate), and contain a "kicker" that sums up the Moment or adds an ironic slant

Make a good first impression with your titles, descriptions, and covers.

  • People decide whether they will click into a Moment based on the title and cover, so make the covers factual and enticing without appearing to be clickbait.
  • The title, description, and cover should clearly explain the nature and tone of the story and provide context to make it relevant to a wide audience.
  • Anything stated in the title and description should be backed up or illustrated in a Tweet contained within the Moment.

Titles are better when they are:

  • A succinct summary of the topic that is simultaneously engaging and informative.
  • Less than 10 words or 280 characters long
  • Conversational (you can use emojis 😄)
  • Written in active voice (i.e., “Jack climbed the hill,” not “The hill was climbed by Jack”).

Descriptions should:

  • Be brief; ideally no more than two sentences long
  • Include the necessary facts, attribution, and context so readers can quickly get the gist of the story
  • Be written in complete sentences, not bullet points

Covers should:

  • Consist of clear images, GIFs, or videos where the first frame tells the story
  • Work with different aspect ratios so they display correctly on any device
  • Be eye-catching but relevant
  • Reflect the mood or content of the Moment

How long should a Moment be?

  • While a Moment should be long enough to tell a complete story, a good rule of thumb is from 8 to 12 Tweets. 
  • For breaking news, Moments may be as short as four Tweets, but can be updated as events develop.
  • Moments might be longer than 12 Tweets in certain circumstances, for example, in a developing news situation when having as much information as possible is vital to inform the audience; during live coverage of sporting or entertainment events; or when the Moment is based on a thread and every Tweet adds something to the narrative.

In closing, remember:

  • Moments are designed to capture and contextualize conversations.
  • You should use Tweets to develop a narrative, offering readers a beginning, middle, and end to the story.
  • The more perspectives and great media you use, the better.
  • If you’re including replies, include the Tweet that spurred the responses.
  • Update your developing Moments so they don’t feel stale; for example, delete Tweets promoting a Q&A or an event after it’s over.
  • Check each Moment on your mobile device to make sure images display correctly.