Did Twitter Just Remake Storify?

Did Twitter Just Remake Storify?

Writerly types will know that you’re not supposed to end a headline with a question mark because readers can always answer with a swift and resolute “no”. It’s called Betteridge’s law after m’colleague +Ian Betteridge – who coined the rule.

But in this case the question mark is legitimate because the answer to the question is a resolute NO. And no again. Then, for a third time, no.

Twitter has just introduced a new custom timeline feature – just rolled out in Tweetdeck – that will enable users to curate collections of Tweets.

From the available demos the feature looks very interesting; a nice tool for creating bespoke, crowd-generated timelines of events and cobbling together reaction from the Twittersphere to other unfolding news.

You can embed the results into sites and CMS pages – and update them live. I’ll definitely be looking at it for live blogging. It’s really cool.

But it’s not Storify.

Sure – you can use Storify to create custom timelines of tweets. Lots of people do that. But that’s not all it’s for.

Storify isn’t restricted to Twitter. Its tools enable you to search multiple social and online sources, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Google (so, the entire web, basically)  then you can drag and drop the results into a composition window. It supports inline video and images as well as blog posts, digital newspapers and social media updates. Most importantly – it automatically links back to the source.

But the key thing about Storify that’s different from Twitter’s custom timeline is that you can then add your own written analysis around the material. As much as you like.

With a text box at the top for a headline and another for a strap Storify is actually a full CMS for creating longform, digital journalism using multiple secondary sources.

So, if you’re one of those people saying Twitter just remade Storify – then that’s because you don’t really know what Storify is. Go have a proper poke around. It’s really cool too.

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