Twitter Inc (TWTR): A Place To Get News, But Not A News Outlet

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There’s certainly something to be said for word of mouth when it comes to news, and it looks like that’s exactly where Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) sees itself in the news industry. At least that’s how Vivian Schiller sees it, according to her recent interview with TIME. The micro-blogging site created a new position so it could focus in part on news, and then it hired Schiller away from NBC News to fill that position. But she says Twitter will never be a news organization.

Why Twitter isn’t a news organization

Schiller emphasized that news organizations have editors and reports and said that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) will never have any of those. She also said that although Twitter accounts can be great sources of news, they will never be able to verify if what others are tweeting is true because of the billions of tweets which are posted every day. She noted that even tweets from verified accounts can’t be guaranteed to contain information which is true.

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What Twitter wants to do for journalists

However, Schiller also said they have a few things on their agenda in terms of helping journalists determine which tweets are providing accurate information. She said although this isn’t an issue they can solve, but they can “help socialize best practices around using Twitter to verify information.” She pointed to tools like Dataminr which, although it doesn’t verify tweets, provides users with signals around tweets which can help

She noted that while Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s news team will never pick and choose news, they will work on making it easier for users to find whatever they are looking for.

How news can help Twitter

Schiller told TIME that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) changed the way she consumes news. She basically reports news “just as a broadcast of information” from her own life and then allows other people to decide if it’s news to them.

She also highlighted how Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) can be a “broadcaster” for eyewitnesses who see news breaking right in front of them. The micro-blogging platform enables users to give real-time updates, which connect news organizations with eyewitnesses and gives every Twitter user a link to whatever is happening around the world, in real time.