Home Twitter Preparing New Events Feature, Aims to Reach 1 Billion Users

Twitter Preparing New Events Feature, Aims to Reach 1 Billion Users

“Twitter will get to a billion members,” Twitter co-founder and recently displaced CEO Evan Williams told the crowd at a San Francisco INFORUM event yesterday. With only 145 million-plus users at present, reaching that lofty goal is still a long ways off for the 4-year old company.

To get there – or at least to aid in getting there – Twitter is planning a new feature called “Events.” Unlike Trends – which track currently popular words, phrases or hashtags (a keyword preceded by the pound sign) – events would track a number of keywords that auto-associate themselves with the event.

The Twitter events feature was one of the topics of the Monday night “fireside chat” with Twitter’s co-founders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone. The execs were interviewed by BusinessWeek writer Brad Stone, and offered a few insights into company vision and plans for the future.

Among the topics covered, were how the new Twitter redesign was going (well – not even one protest!), their reaction to Malcolm Gladwell’s recent essay on “Why the revolution will not be tweeted” (laughable – no one had claimed the revolution would be tweeted to begin with), advertising transparency (ads will be clearly labeled), censorship (they only have three rules on banning tweets: no specific violent threats, no child porn and they comply with copyright takedowns), China (not interested because Twitter is blocked there) and more.

Twitter Events the Next Big Twitter Feature?

But the big reveal, mentioned casually in a brief interview with PC Magazine, is news of a brand new Twitter feature: Events.

With Evan Williams, former chief exec, having just returned to product strategy, Twitter can finally get to work on the feature it has, internally, “been talking about forever,” said Stone. And its launch may be just around the corner: “I think that’s something that’s going to be coming up soon.”

“Twitter electrifies events,” Stone explained, describing the need for the feature. “You’re connected to it, in this matrix. You want to be connected to it, if you’re there.”

He also talked about the flip side of events on Twitter – the negatives of people tweeting from an event and how that impacts other users of the service. “If you’re not there, you don’t want to hear about it,” he said.

If your Twitter stream has all of a sudden been bombarded with tweets from an event, then you know the frustration of dealing with live tweeting. If the event doesn’t interest you, the tweets are just noise. The ability to quickly filter out those tweets from your stream would be a feature many Twitter users would rejoice over.

With these ideas in mind – that events are both incredibly popular for those attending and annoyance for those who aren’t there (or aren’t interested) – Twitter is beginning work on the new Events feature.

There’s no word yet regarding details or an ETA just yet. We’ve reached out to Twitter to see if it would like to share more details, and will update if we hear back.

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