Twitter Inc. TWTR 3.99% has found its first partner for its push into round-the-clock streaming television: Bloomberg.
The social-media company is joining forces with the global financial news outlet to create a service that will stream news produced solely for Twitter 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This is a very intriguing idea with a lot of potential.
The channel, which has yet to be named and is expected to begin operating this fall, won’t simply rebroadcast footage from Bloomberg’s existing television operation, but will be made up of live news reporting from the news outlet’s bureaus around the world, as well as a curated and verified mix of video posted on Twitter by the social-media platform’s users.
There's almost no details about this service yet, so it's impossible to know what the actual product will look like. I always think it's important for a company or brand to be careful to play to its strengths when offering new products or services. Twitter has become the place for breaking news because it truly allows the user to see a selection of their particular interests with easy ways to be made aware of trending topics from all sources, all in a concise and formulaic wrapper.
If Twitter's news network used machine learning to gather together videos linked through the standard feed and allowed the user to create a video version of their twitter feed; where each user has a personalized streaming network consisting of short videos of their particular interests available 24 hours a day; the potential of that service is unlimited.
Instead, this will almost certainly just be the same format as any generic 24 hour news channel, a format itself which is mostly just a super drawn out version of the one hour evening news.
Now, due to the fact that traditional cable companies have dragged their feet in offering traditional cable content via the internet in this streaming era, there's certainly the potential that Twitter and Bloomberg could stumble onto a hit here anyway. The thing is, if it's just a standard news channel broadcast over the web with your twitter feed taking up bunch of the screen, then the other major players can simply duplicate the experience, minus your twitter feed, and it'll almost certainly be even more popular.
Honestly, 24 hour news sucks. Since it has simply taken the evening news format and stretched it endlessly, you end up with a medium constantly searching for something worthwhile to say. You can make a solid case that it has absolutely been a negative for society. With the absurd amount of content posted to the internet daily, the strides made in machine learning allowing computers to sort videos without human's providing metadata and improved prediction algorithms, it is actually possible to deliver a quality 24 hour news experience.
Twitter the company has never seemed to understand why Twitter the service is so popular. Sadly this news channel will likely squander a huge opportunity to bring the Twitter magic to video.
Either way, props to Bloomberg for recognizing that streaming 24 hour news is inevitable.