Q&A with Twitter’s senior director of curation Joanna Geary on how her team decides which trends to summarize and how to contextualize them, more (Will Oremus/OneZero)
Joanna Geary is the senior director of curation for Twitter, leading a team that is responsible for summarizing and contextualizing trends on the platform. In a recent interview with OneZero, she discussed her team’s approach to this important role.
What Is the Curation Team Responsible For?
Joanna Geary’s team is responsible for identifying important topics or trends on the platform, summarizing what they are about, and providing context around them.
This can involve researching related news stories, tracking user conversations about the trend on Twitter, and analyzing what other platforms are saying about it. The goal is to ensure that users have access to reliable information about the hottest topics on Twitter.
How Does The Team Decide Which Trends To Summarize?
Gearey explained that there are several factors her team considers when deciding which trends to focus on.
They look at data points like how many users are talking about a topic, how quickly it is growing in popularity as measured by hashtags used, and what kinds of people have joined in or created their own conversations around it.
They also take into account whether a trend has been previously discussed or ignored by other sources such as traditional media outlets.
What Other Considerations Does The Team Make When Contextualizing Trends?
The team also takes into account how people are reacting to certain topics or trends when contextualizing them.
They look at comments made by users who are either engaging with the trend or dismissing it outright as well as any related action taken by government authorities or private organizations such as Facebook or YouTube if applicable.
In some cases, they might even ask experts in certain fields for their opinions if necessary.
How Has User Engagement Changed Since The Start Of COVID-19?
Since the start of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns, Joanna Geary noted an increase in user engagement across all topics due to more people being at home and having more free time online than ever before.
This has enabled her team to identify emerging trends much quicker than they had before while giving them an opportunity to provide valuable context given the increased discussion surrounding each topic or event.