Social Media

Vellum: beautiful way to read links being shared on Twitter


(Social Media) Vellum was created as an experiment that has since taken off, offering a reading layer to your Twitter experience as it cuts through the noise.


Vellum clarifies shared content

When you open Twitter, what do you see? Tweets about what your friends are eating, friendly conversations and debates, and most frequently, links to content of all sorts. Filtering out those links and determining what your actual sphere finds relevant, and what’s hot in your own circles, is difficult.

Enter the NYT Labs’ project, Vellum, which features content being shared among people you follow on Twitter, displaying not only the links being shared in an easier to read format, but how popular they are within your sphere. We don’t translate this as a popularity contest, rather a way to see what is trending among people you are connected to rather than strangers (because we all know that the Kardashians aren’t news, but look at trending tweets, and you’ll think otherwise).

They’re calling it a “reading layer of your Twitter feed” which flips the focus to content and shared links. It features the content’s full title and description as primary content, and tweeted commentary comes second.

This makes sense, coming from a media company, and it is well executed, allowing users to click on the headline and go directly to the content rather than the tweet. The less clicks the better, of course, for users, and media companies alike. The goal is to cut through the noise and put content on the forefront.

The NYTLab blog explains, “Vellum was built as a quick experiment, but as we and other groups within The New York Times have been using it over the past few months, it has proven to be an invaluable tool for using Twitter as a content discovery interface.”

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