Twitter Updates Explore, Making its Listings More Location-Specific

Twitter has announced a new update for its Explore tab which will make all of the listed tweets in Explore more location-specific.

That means that when you head to your Explore listing, all of the content – including Trends, ‘What’s Happening’ and the topic listings – will all be more aligned with the location that you choose.

For example, here’s a look at how my Explore listing changes based on different locations.

The listings here are from Australia, Indonesia, Spain and New Zealand. You can see how the ‘Trends for you’ listings change in each region, but also the ‘What’s Happening’ panels below. That also extends into each topic-specific listing below that, providing region variable coverage, dependent on your chosen location.

You can change the location of your Trending lists by tapping on the gear icon at the top right of the main Explore screen – when you do, you’ll have the option of unchecking the ‘Show content in this location’ box, then selecting a custom location.

Twitter location change in Explore

Switching to different regions can provide you with a more unique perspective on the key topics of focus in each nation, along with how they relate to the topics you’re interested in.

Twitter also notes that, as part of this update, the ‘Worldwide Trends’ view is being removed. 

“But hear us out: we’re working on improving Explore so we show you more relevant content for the different locations that you pick.”

So the idea is that you get a better focus on each location as you choose, as opposed to a generic world trends view.

It’s an interesting update, though you would think that most users won’t bother to change the location marker, and will therefore only ever see their own local trends. But maybe that’s a better outcome – maybe, by showing you more content that will likely be of direct relevance to you, as opposed to global trends, which are often dominated by K-Pop-related hashtags or US sports. Maybe by removing these, and showing you more content that’s familiar to you, based on where you live, that will help Twitter increase engagement, as opposed to taking up space with topics of little relevance in respective regions.

Definitely, Twitter needs to boost engagement where possible. Early last month – before the COVID-19 pandemic really hit – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey came under pressure from an activist investor group, which sought to oust him and replace him with a more business-minded leader. Dorsey survived the challenge, but was forced to commit to tough growth targets, including a 20% increase in monetizable active users in 2020.

Twitter has been growing its active user rates, and the platform’s mDAU count did actually grow by 21% in 2019. But even so, continuously boosting those figures will only get more difficult. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has likely changed the targets in this respect, Twitter is still likely looking to squeeze out as many performance improvements as it can in order to keep boosting that usage stat.

This seems like a smaller tweak in this respect – but localized trends does appear to make more sense, while the capacity to travel around the world via tweet trends could also be an interesting exploration tool to check out.

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