As we all know, Twitter is a great way to share updates with friends and family about, well, everything: the design and color of your newest manicure, the weather, how the barbecue tastes at your local Korean restaurant, the state of foreign affairs or to-the-minute updates on Kimye’s union. Twitter can also be a great tool to help you catch up on the latest current events. But it can be hard to find the actual news articles and interesting stories you’re looking for among the photos of baby animals and the latest quiz-of-the-moment results that crowd your Twitter feed.
That’s where Vellum comes in. A new program unveiled last month by N.Y.T. Labs, the company’s R&D division, Vellum seeks to cut through the raucous clutter on Twitter to deliver lists of the most-shared articles on your feed. The program combs through the links shared by the people you follow and ranks them according to popularity, giving you a clean list that features each article’s title, publication and opening line. We tested it out while writing this and, as you can see, my most-popular article is a story from The Guardian on how to encourage young people to read — this (Vellum!) might be one way to do it.
Vellum’s already been getting a lot of good buzz, and rightly so, in this author’s opinion at least. According to Alexis Lloyd, N.Y.T. Labs’ creative director, Vellum flips the Twitter model on its head by making “the links as primary and the commentary as secondary,” so that it’s much easier to find the content you’re looking for. And that’s where the strength of this program lies. Don’t get me wrong — I love using Twitter to talk to friends as much as the next girl. But for those times when what I want to find is captivating reading material, Vellum and its spotlight on content is the only tool I’ll need.
Are you going to try Vellum? Do you think it will prove helpful? Let us know in the comments below!