Twitter: Breaking news at the top of your feed

March 15, 2018


As a social media platform, Twitter’s greatest advantage is the real-time communication it provides with the rest of the world. More and more people are now getting their news and other information from social media websites and prime among them is Twitter.


To use this to their advantage and increase ease of access to users, Twitter is now testing a module that will showcase the current breaking news at the top of users' timelines. The new module is a part of Twitter’s ‘Happening Now’ updates, which have only focused on sports events until now.





This version of the Twitter timeline may remind some of Instagram’s feed, whereby users get a glimpse of the stories posted by people they follow. On Twitter, when one clicks on these news cards, they will be directed to a specific list of tweets which talk about that event. This ensures that users are able to stay updated about the latest information.  


Currently, this ‘list’ is being prepared manually to avoid spam and to make sure that the information they highlight is absolutely truthful. Over time, Twitter plans to automate the whole process but that will not be as easy as it sounds. Algorithms aren’t perfect and can often cause more problems. Moreover, trolls and spammers seem to always find a way to beat the system and carry on their work.  


But regardless of past failures on different platforms, Twitter has to figure out a way to cure the growing disease of misinformation and fake news. In a recent study at MIT, it was concluded that fake news spreads faster and reaches more people than actual news on Twitter. This is very concerning and makes it clear that Twitter needs to attack this menace from all sides.


____________________________________________________________________This module is currently being tested only among a small group of users in the United States.





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