Yesterday, Twitter announced a new way of organizing and displaying tweets called Custom Timelines.
You can read about custom timelines on the Twitter Developer blog, but, like with anything about Twitter, if it takes more than 140 characters to explain, people start complaining about how it’s confusing.
So, here’s a simple way to think about Twitter Timelines:
Twitter Custom Timelines are like Pinterest: But instead of setting up a “board” called “Pin Cushions I Like” for clipping and sharing photos of cute pin cushions you discover on the internet, you can set up a Twitter Custom Timeline called “Pin Cushion Tweets I Like.”
Like with Pinterest, you don’t have to actually create content: Pinterest has demonstrated that lots of people can develop a huge following for their talent in finding and sharing good stuff. Similarly, with Custom Timelines, you clip and share other people’s tweets (or, to use the professional term for clipping and sharing other people’s creations, “curating.”) And there’s a talent to that. Or, at least we hope so, as that’s what we do a lot of at SmallBusiness.com
Need another analogy? It’s like organizing Favorites: It’s common to click on a star next to a tweet to indicate that tweet is one of your favorites. With Custom Timelines, you’ll be able to categorize and share what those stars mean.
Next to last thing, for now: TweetDeck.com, not Twitter.com, is the actual Pinterest-like platform you’ll use to manage Twitter Timelines.
The last thing: Unlike Pinterest, where all of the photos you clip and share are potentially unfair uses of the intellectual property of their creators, thus making it a bit challenging for Pinterest to monetize those photos, with Twitter Timelines, all those tweets were tweeted by people who agreed to give Twitter the rights to use them as they please.
Sidenote: In the coming days, SmallBusiness.com will rolling out some Twitter Timelines and explaining how your small business can create your own.