Twitter Tries, One More Time, to Help You Figure Out Twitter

Since practically the very beginning, one of Twitter’s biggest challenges has been helping people find the best of what’s happening on its platform. (Other challenges include curbing abuse, dealing with Nazis, and Donald Trump’s Android phone.) Years ago, the app had a “Discover” section that was meant to help you find the best, coolest, most #important things on Twitter. From its ashes rose Moments, a tool for collecting tweets to tell stories longer than 140 characters.

Twitter’s new Explore tab bundles Moments, trending topics, search, and live video into a single page.

Now the company’s trying yet again, as it comes into something like a do-or-die year. Beginning today and rolling out over the next few weeks, users will start to see a new section, called Explore, that’s designed to help you find all the things happening on Twitter right now. The new section is a mix of algorithm-personalized and human-curated: it bundles Moments, trending topics, search, and live video into a single page. All together, Twitter hopes Explore will give you a more complete picture of the Twitterverse at any given moment.

In a way, Explore almost sounds a bit like a 2017 take on a newswire—a real-time look at what’s happening in the world, sourced directly from videos and tweets. That’s very much in line with Twitter’s vision of its role in the world, as the place where news breaks and is discussed. Explore also sounds like a blissful reprieve from the timeline, which to many has started to feel less like a social network and more like the beginning of a hernia. “Reading Twitter these days is like ordering a coffee and getting two rails of coke instead,” the writer Chris Jones tweeted on Wednesday. In short, Twitter has become exhausting. There are too many bad apples, who are too hard to ignore. There’s too much bad news, too much hot-takiness, too much everything.