Photo via Shawn Carpenter/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
The Olympics start on August 5, 2016, and billions of people around the world will become invested in athletes and sports they've never even heard of. To keep track of all the events, Twitter is rolling out a feature that will let users temporarily receive Olympics-related tweets in their timeline.
The experiment will be a part of a dedicated section of the social network's Moments tab, which serves to highlight content surrounding specific events that are generating considerable interest. The Rio 2016 Moments section will keep all the most compelling parts of the massive sporting event in one place.
Unlike other Moments, Twitter will be taking the best content out of the Olympics tab and inserting it directly into the feeds of those who opt-in.
The temporary follow feature has been utilized—though somewhat buried—by Twitter before for Moments. But, as a Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Dot, it generally only lasts a matter of hours or days. For the Rio Olympics, the event will last 17 days. Once the closing ceremony takes place and the games are over, the timeline will return to just tweets from users an account follows.
Giving people the ability to follow the Olympics as a whole is likely to keep more folks engaged. But for those only interested in specific events or countries, Twitter will give an option to just opt-in to follow favorites sports and teams, according to a spokesperson for the company. Moments will also highlight results, medal counts, and provide a recap of each day's events.
The temporary follow feature will be available in nine different markets, including Brazil, the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, France, and Germany. Each market will get tweets specific to the region. Some countries—including most receiving curated content through Moments—will also be able to see video highlights.In addition to the temporary follow feature, Twitter is also rolling out more than 200 hashtag-specific Twitter emojis and will feature Olympics content in its video-centric apps Periscope and Vine.