Twitter will live stream local broadcasts during breaking news events

 theverge.com  2/15/2018 4:55:26 PM   Jacob Kastrenakes
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Twitter is often at its best during breaking news events when it becomes the quickest place to find updates on what’s happening. Now, the service is leaning into that further, by 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. 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.”

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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