Twitter REALLY wants to be your source for relevant, timely sports information. After tasting success with their specially curated World Cup timelines this summer the microblogging platform is expanding the experiment to the NFL just in time for the return of football season. Users who search the #NFL hashtag will still be able to browse all the user tweets taking place under that tag, but they’ll also be presented with a specially curated timeline of tweets for coaches, players, teams, and sports journalists hand-picked by the Twitter team.
As we’ve been reporting, Twitter has been looking for new ways to focus its often chaotic timelines and deliver useful and relevant information to users. It’s a task that becomes even more important during high profile events like the FIFA World Cup or the pro-football season. While hardcore Twitter users may be comfortable sorting through the hundreds or thousands of tweets per second generated during major events, casual users can easily be overwhelmed. Twitter hopes that by offering up a more managed timelines with only high quality tweets they will be able to overcome the user fatigue that often scares off new members.
The new #NFL timeline will be available all season long for fans looking for a quick and casual way to catch up. The real excitement, however, will come from the game specific timelines that Twitter will create for every major match up. Users can search for hashtags like #JetsVsEagles to receive a curated timeline of tweets concerning that particular game. The system also accounts for natural language, so using hashtags like #NYvsPhilly during the game will produce the same results.
Specialized event timelines could be the first step to Twitter’s proposed filtering of all users timelines, a move that has made many users nervous about the future of the platform. For the moment the timelines are optional and users will still have the choice to follow the raw hashtags for particular events if they wish. It’s clear that Twitter is looking for ways to put tweets from prominent brands in front of more eyes without substantially disrupting the user experience. Curated sports timelines continue to succeed then live entertainment and television events are likely to be next.