Twitter is testing an experimental news tab in its mobile apps for iOS and Android, according to BuzzFeed. The micro-blogging site is hoping the new feature will broaden Twitter’s appeal and increase user engagement.
The news tab sits in the middle of the app’s navigation bar and will show a list of headlines that are trending on the platform from major news organizations like CBS News and The New York Times. Clicking on a headline will bring up a story screen with an image, text and a list of associated tweets.
“We’re experimenting with a news experience on iOS and Android as we continue to explore new ways to surface the best content to users,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.
The news tab feature is currently only being tested on a small number of users in the US and Japan. It is unclear if it will expand globally to become a permanent, fully integrated part of the Twitter app.
It has been pointed out that Twitter may potentially use the feature to generate revenue from advertisers, as inserting ads in between news stories may not feel as intrusive compared to inserting them into the regular feed.
Earlier this year, Twitter revealed its upcoming Project Lightning feature, which is said to aggregate tweets and photos from live events and breaking-news situations in real time.
Even though 302 million people use Twitter, the number of new sign-ups has stagnated recently, causing the social networking site’s shares to plunge. The company seems to believe that focusing on news and events will go some way in helping to attract new users.