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Twitter renews live news focus with Moments overhaul, personalized alerts, more

Twitter has announced a host of new features that it says will make it easier to discover ongoing news and events. In a blog post, the company outlined improvements to Moments, personalized news and events notifications, and more.

First off, Twitter says it is testing a new Topics tab in the Explore section of its mobile applications. This would allow users to easily jump between various categories of news, such as entertainment, sports, and more. This feature is currently in testing and will launch “in the coming months” to iOS and Android users in the United States:

We’re now experimenting with topic tabs in Explore so it’s easier to see what’s happening in news and entertainment, and what’s most relevant to you. Available in the coming months to everyone in the US on iOS and Android.

Rolling out to today, however, are new features for search. Now, when you search for a topic – such as an ongoing event or big news story – you’ll see aggregated stories, videos, and more along the top of the search results page:

At the top of search results, you’ll see related news, events, or stories and be able to tap in to get a recap and see the latest discussion, videos or scores.

Last year, Twitter rolled out its ‘Happening Now’ feature to make it easy to follow along with live sporting events directly from your timeline. Now, it’s expanding that feature to support breaking and personalized news. This means you’ll now see tweets at the top of your timeline about ongoing news stories.

Building on its news focus, Twitter says it’s also now experimenting with sending notifications based on user interests. The company notes that these notifications can always be turned off, though it believes they will help keep everyone in the know:

Now we’re experimenting with sending notifications to you based on your interests (like who you follow and what you Tweet about), so you won’t miss a beat.

Elsewhere, Twitter says Moments will now be based vertically, rather than horizontally. This means you’ll now scroll up and down to navigate through Moments, rather than left to right, a change the company says will feel more natural to users.

Twitter’s announcements today come as it looks to break further into the news industry. You can read all of the details on the Twitter Blog.

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