Two recent releases from Twitter and Pinterest respectively caught my eye, and really hammer home the point that in this abundance of content we are wading through every day with our nose buried in our smartphones we really need help to find the good stuff. Curation has become a great way to help people find what they want and in the process show off your brand.
- Twitter custom timelines help the gold rise to the surface.
Anyone using Twitter have probably at one time or another cursed their home timeline for being full of noise. Between tweets moaning about the weather and pictures of more or less appetising lunches nuggets can be found, but sometimes they feel few and far apart…
With the recent release of “custom timelines” it is now possible to sift out the nuggets and create curated collections of tweets around specific events, places, hashtags, jokes, TV shows, anything you can think of.
This new function is in direct competition with the timeline curation tool Storify, bringing the same functionality into the Twitter fold. That said, you still can’t create custom timelines on Twitter.com, you actually have to use their “power user” tool Tweetdeck which requires a separate login.
Storify also content wise has a slight edge since you there also can pull from content shared on Instagram, Facebook, Flickr and more, so if a lot of your customers are spread out over multiple networks it might be more useful to stick with Storify for now.
- Creating a custom timeline
Creating a custom Twitter timeline, once signed up for Tweetdeck (see this excellent walkthrough), is simple. You simply name it, and then choose the tweets you want to add to it. Once done you can tweet a link to it or for example embed it in your website or a blog post for others to enjoy.
Restaurant and hotel chains with the muscle to run big, nation wide campaigns creating a huge volume of buzz can also talk to their web developers about using the Twitter API to create automated functionality around their campaign hashtags and topics to make sure content is clearly surfaced and easier to consume.
- Bar crawls and restaurant top lists never looked this good
On a similar note Pinterest just took the next step in their quest to make the world pinnable. Through the release of “Place Pins” in collaboration with location data darling Foursquare and beautiful maps company MapBox Pinterest users can now turn their pin boards into maps connected to rich data about each location. See this example from Visit Britain: http://www.pinterest.com/visitbritain/unesco-world-heritage-sites-in-the-uk/
The usefulness for people exploring new areas or travelling to new cities is obvious. And with 75% of Pinterest usage already coming from mobile, aiming for the travel and tourism segment seems like a no brainer.
Can’t wait to see loads of “map boards” created for London with the best bar crawls, historical pubs, or great restaurants to try.
Hotels could use this functionality to create a great looking map centered on their location with nearby restaurants and bars pinned with beautiful photos and links to Foursquare for reviews and details.
Meanwhile, in the world of Foursquare and Facebook, I have noticed that they have become more aggressive in asking me for feedback on places I have been to. I can’t open the Facebook app on my phone without being asked to choose a number of stars for a place I have visited, and when checking in on Foursquare they actively ask for feedback about venues.
Good thing too, or what would the curators of this world do with all their time and these new functionalities…?