Twitter to live stream local broadcasts during breaking news events

In a bid to stop the spread of fake news, Twitter will soon live stream news, in a window next to the users’ timelines, whenever a major incident takes place. To do that, Twitter is partnering with local news stations to stream their broadcasts during major breaking stories.

The new partnerships, spotted and confirmed by BuzzFeed News, were on show yesterday when Twitter began streaming newscasts from Miami’s WSVN 7 during the shooting at a high school north of the city. More than 50,000 Twitter viewers watched the live broadcast.

Twitter’s video lead, Kayvon Beykpour, told BuzzFeed that the service is trying to find new ways to “surface credible and relevant information to help people stay informed.”

 

In a bid to stop the spread of fake news, Twitter will soon live stream news, in a window next to the users’ timelines, whenever a major incident takes place.

In a first such test, Twitter live-streamed footage from Miami’s WSVN 7 as the media outlet covered the shooting at a Florida school in which 17 people were killed on Wednesday.

More than 50,000 Twitter viewers watched the live broadcast.

According to a report in BuzzFeed News late on Thursday, the micro-blogging platform will rely on partnerships with regional news stations to select the footage to be live-streamed.

“We’re continuing to work on new ways we can surface credible and relevant information to help people stay informed.

“By pairing live video with the conversation on Twitter, there is no faster way to see what’s happening in the world,” Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter video GM, told BuzzFeed News.

Clicking on the video will open up a stream of algorithmically chosen tweets about the event.

When users click on live videos on their timelines, they will be taken to a custom timeline that “places algorithmically selected tweets about the news event next to it”.

As BuzzFeed points out, the addition is particularly interesting because it shows Twitter leaning into news just as Facebook is trying to step away from it, at least slightly. Local broadcasts tend to be the best place to look for current and accurate information, so giving Twitter users easy access to that is definitely a win. Clicking on the video will also open up a stream of algorithmically chosen tweets about the event.

The streams should be a nice addition for news junkies, but it’s not clear how big of an impact they’ll have on Twitter’s user base as a whole. The streaming video box is easy to ignore on the desktop or miss entirely if you’re on mobile. And while local news is great for getting accurate information during a breaking event, its presence won’t necessarily combat misinformation, since some of it is spread intentionally and continues to spread after the fact, when the broadcast is over.

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