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Could Twitter also be working to challenge Snapchat?

That’s the word from CNBC, which has reported that Twitter’s “working on camera-first feature that could change the emphasis on the platform from text to video and images”.

The info comes via agency executives who are familiar with the in-development product – as explained by CNBC:

“The new function would combine location-based photos and videos with Twitter Moments around notable events. Companies could sponsor events or place ads in between tweeted real-time photos and videos.”

Which sounds a lot like Sponsored Moments, Twitter’s latest Moments ad option which the platform announced back in January. Sponsored Moments include interstitial tweets from a brand, as well as a branded cover – here’s an example from Bank of America (you can see the BOA branding on the cover, and a BOA tweet at the end, which has been inserted between other tweets from the Davos event)

Twitter's Reportedly Working on a New, Snapchat-Like Ad Option | Social Media Today

Twitter’s new product seems to be along much the same lines, though it could be more focused on image-based content.

Again, from CNBC:

“The feature would resemble how Snap collects location-based snaps around certain topics and displays them together as a highlighted post on its Discover tab — a feature that has proven popular with advertisers. For example, on Wednesday Snap featured a Discover story on the national school walkouts in protest of school shootings, with snaps from The Washington Post interspersed throughout. Snap has also featured content posted from select MLB games and awards shows.”

So, pretty similar to Sponsored Moments, but maybe giving publishers more opportunity to promote their content through news events.

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News content appears to be getting more focus from Twitter, with the platform this week announcing a test of a breaking news module at the top of timelines, linking users through to real-time tweet coverage of major events.

The new ad offering could be more in-line with this approach, promoting news content with partner sources. Twitter already has the content on this front – both through tweets from such events and Periscope live streams. Maybe this new tool could combine both, though it’s hard to see it being significantly more aligned to Snapchat’s vertical viewing approach, unless Twitter also looks to update its camera options and make them more of a key focus (i.e. opening up to the camera when you go to compose a tweet, which probably wouldn’t work).

Given this, without further details, it’s difficult to see what this new option would add to Twitter’s existing promotional tools – though it is interesting to see Twitter working on more news-focused products, which could help them better promote real-time coverage and get users more engaged.

We’ll update you with more information as it’s revealed. 

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