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Photo: Twitter

Twitter is revamping its app’s “Explore” tab in the hopes of better serving up relevant and timely news to its users. It’s also rolling out a new feature for the FIFA World Cup, with an individual page of content for each game, just in time for the tournament’s kick off on Thursday.

Why it matters: The company says this is a small piece of a bigger ongoing effort to revamp its product. Over the years, Twitter has struggled to balance user growth with catering to its most active and loyal users, which has sometimes resulted in confusing product updates.

What’s new:

  • The Explore section will get new tabs, including “Trending,” “For you,” "News,” “Sports,” and “Fun,” which will have personalized selections of top events and topics discussed on Twitter.
  • For as many news events as possible, Twitter wants to assemble news articles, commentary, video, and even Moments (topical collections of tweets) to inform users. For example, it could create this for a major sporting event, a natural disaster, an electoral race, or entertainment industry award show.
  • It’s experimenting with showing news events it believes are relevant to someone in a navigation bar at the top of that user’s timeline screen—but only if and when there’s relevant content, says VP of product Keith Coleman. It first introduced this feature last year for sports news only. It’s also expanding mobile push notifications beyond breaking news to including other relevant and timely content based on users’ interests.

But, but, but: Twitter’s expansion of efforts to curate and serve up news content to its users raises questions about the role of its human curators (which are not a new addition to the company, but perhaps not very visible). Joanna Geary, director of curation, says that Twitter is not a newsroom, but its employees responsible for news curation do write news headlines, summaries, and make decisions about content—just like news organizations.

  • Fellow social media giant Facebook’s own human news curation operations got the company into hot water in 2016 when Gizmodo reported that some practices led to bias against conservative news.
  • Facebook recently did away with the “Trending” news section entirely in favor of other fully-automated features (it argued that the section was ineffective and only drove 1.5% of traffic to publishers).

Go deeper

Exclusive: GOP Leader McCarthy asks to meet with Biden about the border

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at CPAC. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss the rising numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a letter sent on Friday.

Why it matters: Biden is facing criticism from the right and the left as agency actions and media reports reveal spiking numbers of migrant children overwhelming parts of the U.S. immigration system. Recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day, as Axios reported.

Vaccine hesitancy drops, but with partisan divide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

69% of the public intends to get a COVID vaccine or already has, up significantly from 60% in November, according to a report out Friday from the Pew Research Center.

Yes, but: The issue has become even more partisan, with 56% of Republicans who say they want or have already received a coronavirus vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

China's 5-year plan is hazy on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's highly anticipated 5-year plan revealed on Friday provides little new information about its climate initiatives, leaving plenty to discuss in multinational meetings this year and lots of blanks for China to fill in later.

Driving the news: The top-line targets for 2025, per state media, aim to lower energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon emissions intensity by 18% — that is, measures of energy use and emissions relative to economic output.