Home » OPINION » Columns » THE SPIN CYCLE: Twitter launches Curator search tool for media outlets

THE SPIN CYCLE: Twitter launches Curator search tool for media outlets

Pacman_rgbBy TODD SMITH

Twitter has launched Curator, its new product that lets media organizations, publishers, and broadcasters identify, filter and display tweets and Vine videos on any screen in real-time.

The free service, which is something of a competitor to Storify, is designed to help those in the media industry and, soon, others too, make better sense of the barrage of data on Twitter’s network in order to highlight the best content for their own readers and viewers.

The company had unveiled Curator during the News: Rewired Conference in London earlier this year, but until now, it had not been broadly available. The product was still in beta and was being tested by a dozen or so organizations, including the NYC Mayor’s office and Italy’s major network, Mediaset.

But starting today, any media organization will now be able to get its hands on the new service, which will make integrating tweets and other content into their TV newscasts, programs, websites or mobile apps quicker and easier.

With Curator, Twitter offers a variety of filtering tools that let publishers and broadcasters create either simple or highly complex queries that can help them drill down on specific content or current trends. For example, a news organization might choose to use the product to show viewer reactions in real-time during their telecast, or a government agency might display a Twitter feed alongside a live-streamed speech.

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

While initially designed to meet the needs of media organizations, Curator could also be used in an entertainment context, doing things like showing hashtag references during a TV show, or displaying tweets on the big screen at a music concert or festival, for example.

The service makes it easy to run a simple query, in order to pull up results like the most-retweeted content, or tweets that include videos and reference a given hashtag.

But what makes the service powerful for its users are the variety of ways it’s able to filter the Twitter “fire hose” – meaning, the full stream of all the posts taking place on Twitter’s network – in real-time. Using Curator, companies can find and filter these tweets by a range of factors, including keywords, authors (@ handles), location, language, time zone, follower count, number of retweets or favorites, verified users and much more.

This allows for more complex queries. For example, an organization could ask to see something like women who were saying positive things about a given topic in a particular time zone. Users can also negate terms in their searches, too, which could help to filter out unrelated content or curse words, for instance.

NYT rolls out one-sentence stories for apple watch

The New York Times has developed a new form of storytelling to help readers catch up in seconds on Apple Watch. One-sentence stories, crafted specially for small screens, will provide the news at a glance across many Times sections, including Business, Politics, Science, Tech and The Arts.

One-sentence stories are accompanied by The Times’ award-winning photography and short, bulleted summaries. Readers can use Handoff to continue reading any story on iPhone or iPad, or tap “Save for Later” to build a personal reading list.

Editors on three continents will be dedicated to The Times’ core mobile apps, including Watch, 24 hours a day.

The Times’ breaking news alerts, which reach nearly 15 million devices, will also extend to Apple Watch. The Watch app is an extension of NYTimes on iPhone and will be free for all users. Watch owners will be able to use the app when the device is released on April 24.

Top brands to watch out for on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch was formally announced just last month, but developers have been creating apps for the platform since November 2014, when Apple released WatchKit — the toolkit that allows developers to begin coding and testing apps for the smartwatch.

With the watch set to hit the shelves later this month, there are already apps for airlines, department stores and social networks for the downloading.

Here, then are a few brands that are literally ready to be put on Watch:


Target seems to have understood how utilitarian the watch can be for retail. Its app will apparently let users build a shopping list on their Apple Watches and even when you’re in the store, it tells you where to find the items you need.

American Airlines

The American Airlines’ brand may not be the strongest flying the friendly skies, but it’s smart of them to realize that the Apple Watch lends itself well to quick and concise updates. Its app will send out flight notifications, gate numbers and baggage claim information to users, and even let them check in. It will also aim to as act as in-flight entertainment on their wrists, letting them view maps with the time remaining until arrival while on flights.

Starwood Hotels

The hotel chain is trying to replicate the success of its smartphone app – which unlocks hotel rooms thereby cutting costs – on the Apple Watch too. Users can also get directions to their hotel through the app, check in and view their balance on the hotel’s loyalty program. The InterContinental Hotel Group is also developing its own Apple Watch app.

Nike+ Running

Fitness freaks will be able sync their iPhones and Apple Watches and save themselves the trouble of glancing at their phones while on the run. The Nike+ Running app will display the distance, duration and pace of their runs on their wrists. It can also be synced with Bluetooth headphones, so that they can listen to music while working out.


Also synched to the iPhone, the Shazam app will display the name of a song (and its lyrics) onto the Watch whenever users what to identify a tune.


The eBay app will help users stay on top of the auctions they’re tracking. The app will send outbid notices and other notifications directly, so users can react immediately if needed.

The New York Times

See entry above.


If there’s one spot where 140 characters don’t seem too short, it’s on people’s wrists. With the Twitter app for Apple Watch, users are notified with a tap when new tweets are posted, which they can quickly retweet or favorite from their Apple Watches.

Arcade Mic | Google Maps lets you turn location into Pac-Man game

Your neighborhood just got a lot more interesting. Google has released a new feature for Maps that lets you turn any location into a game of Pac-Man – all you have to do is click the new Pac-Man button that resides in the lower left corner of the screen. When you do, whatever section of the world you’re looking at will transform into the pixelated arcade classic, complete with four colorful ghosts and the iconic music.

This version of Google Maps Pac-Man even supports mobile devices. This isn’t the first time Google has mixed video games and Maps in time for April Fools’ Day, as last year the company let you catch Pokemon using its mapping tool. As for Pac-Man, you can play it right now – and be sure to check the support page for tips on the best places to play. Google’s Pac-Man play chomps a Golden Mic from The Spin Cycle, who has always loved this nostalgic – and iconic – 1980s brand!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

One comment

  1. the most important thing in them getting the contents of the message so that it can be changed later by users. All text, images, and tagged so that when incorporated into other sites will remain as they were at the site.

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