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Twitter’s New ‘Moments’ Feature Has Become My SportsCenter Replacement

I think Moments is already good for sports fans -- with the potential to be great.

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Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Two weeks ago, I said on Twitter that the combination of Vine videos with the distribution of Twitter had the potential to become a modern-day replacement for ESPN’s SportsCenter highlight show. Several Twitter followers told me it seemed more likely that Twitter’s new Moments feature, more specifically, could fulfill that promise. I now think they’re right.

Moments, which launched in October, are strings of tweets that tell the story around a recent event, piece of news or sporting event. The ones I’ve observed are heavily comprised of photos and videos. Twitter organizes them into different categories, including a Sports one, which I’ve been checking out the most. Moments is very similar to Snapchat’s Live Stories feature, but I use Twitter a lot more, so I know Moments better.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been checking the Moments tab in the Twitter app each morning. If the Knicks played the night before, I immediately check for their highlights, even if I watched the game live. That’s mostly due to my very unhealthy obsession with their 20-year-old rookie sensation, Kristaps Porzingis. In my defense, how can you not love this guy?

Beyond that one use case, I still like what I see. I can quickly browse through the best video highlights from all of the previous night’s games in the National Hockey League, for example — a sport I only follow passively, but enjoy catching up on in quick shots like this. I’ve also enjoyed some of the more offbeat sports Moments, such as a recent one titled “When Steph Curry” that includes tweets with humorous photos of people reacting to the greatness of the Golden State Warriors star guard. And I can do all of this in a few taps, while on the go, in a short amount of time, since the packages are designed to be consumed in short bursts of attention.

There are still changes I’d like to see. The photos and videos skew heavily toward ones made by the sports leagues and teams. I admit they are much less dull than I expected, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some more content included from normal Twitter users who were at the game or watching it on TV. That kind of content is part of the beauty of Twitter, after all. Perhaps fear of copyright infringement has played a part.

I’d also like even more sports Moments. Right now, only three or four sports-related Moments are created on most days. If you’re a fan of a specific team, you might not find the highlights you are looking for yet.

All in all, though, I think Moments is already good for sports fans, with the potential to be great. I recognize that I’m a Twitter power user, so maybe I pay attention to Moments more than most people do. But I’ve already recommended the new feature to friends who long ago gave up on Twitter, because I think they’ll like it a lot. I think it could win some of them back. And we know Twitter could sure use that.

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