Twitter’s mobile apps are testing a breaking news tab

Facebook and Twitter applications mobile apps

The social network is now trying out a new kind of option that may soon appear in its application.

Twitter has now suggested that it will be stepping into the news environment with its mobile apps and in order to find its place in that ecosystem, it is trying out a breaking news content tab.

This was first reported by BuzzFeed, but it was also later officially confirmed by Twitter, itself.

The news tab will be appearing in the Android and iOS mobile apps. So far, screenshots have been displayed by BuzzFeed that have shown that the iOS version of the application will have the news tab in the bottom navigation bar between the notifications tab and the messages tab. A spokesperson from Twitter explained that “We’re experimenting with a news experience on iOS and Android as we continue to explore new ways to surface the best content to users.”

When that tab is clicked in the mobile apps, some of the latest trending stories will be displayed.

Facebook and Twitter applications mobile appsThe news articles, themselves, will have been sourced from major news organizations such as the New York Times, the L.A. Times, and CBS News, among others. When those stories are tapped, the user is directed to a view that provides a preview of the story as well as a link to read the full article if they are interested in doing so.

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The idea for this breaking news option doesn’t feel tremendously different than the “Discover” tab that used to exist in the Twitter app, nor does it seem to differ greatly from the interface provided by the search bar when it is tapped. That said, it certainly has a more direct, specific purpose, which is something that users may find helpful in allowing Twitter to use a headlining feature that is more direct.

This appears to be only a part of a greater focus that Twitter is having on the news, as it is also approaching the launch of its “Project Lightning” feed, in which people will be able to place a greater focus on the events that are currently happening around them. It is not yet clear when the mobile apps will start to show this new feature. While it is already live for users of both the Android and iOS apps in Japan, it is currently being tested with a small number of partners before it will be rolled out more broadly.

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