As a part of a new initiative, Twitter has started to show live video from local news channels during major breaking news events in the United States. It was employed in a major way during the unfortunate Florida school shooting on Wednesday when Twitter put up the livestream of a local news channel next to the user timeline.
The live video runs on mute by default and is accompanied by a ‘Watch’ link. Clicking the video or the watch link takes users to custom timeline, similar to a hashtag page, that shows a bigger version of the video as well tweets about the news event.
“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, GM for Video at Twitter, told BuzzFeed in a statement.
The social media company has partnered with several local news stations for this feature. The breaking news live video is currently accessible to all users in the United States on Twitter.com, but it doesn’t seem to have been rolled out for the mobile or app users at this point. There is no word on global implementation as well.
It is an interesting way to counter any misinformation that may seep into Twitter’s algorithmically selected tweets for a breaking news event. Social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are vulnerable to exploitation by fringe elements during breaking news period, especially when there is limited news from authoritative sources. By putting live video from a local news station front and center, the company is offering the users the latest and credible information.
The Wednesday’s experiment garnered 50,000 concurrent viewers of the livestream for Twitter.
Image credit: BuzzFeed