Dataminr unleashes new Twitter tool for journalists

30 Jan 2014

Image via turtleteeth/Shutterstock

Twitter has unveiled a new tool from Dataminr to help journalists and news outlets stay ahead of the pack and discover the freshly breaking news amid 500m tweets per day on the social network.

Dataminr for News is already in use at CNN, which has piloted the tool with positive results. The news service says it is already generating two stories per day from Dataminr and that it tipped journalists off to the recent shooting in a mall in Maryland.

A new focus for Dataminr

Until now, Dataminr has been best known for using Twitter’s firehose of data to offer market insights to investors and financial services institutions. It’s the same service that famously alerted clients to explosions in the White House reported by the Associated Press Twitter account. The tweet turned out to be fake, the result of a Syrian Electronic Army hack, and though Dataminr corrected its mistake almost immediately, the result of the initial panic was a drop of 143 points on the Dow Jones industrial average.  

With Dataminr for News, however, the analytics engine has been tweaked and retuned to focus on tweets that could be newsworthy, as opposed to tweets that could affect the stock market. The tool segments news into different feeds and alerts reporters to breaking stories. 

Twitter has licensed its data to Dataminr for a few years now and gave the new service its full backing through the announcement by new head of news Vivian Schiller in New York on Wednesday. After all, any tool that helps Twitter cement its position as the source for breaking news will be welcomed by the big blue bird.

Pricing structures for Dataminr for News have yet to be announced, but the service will be made available to news outlets this year. update

Meanwhile, has also been updated to include new search filters. Users could previously filter results by photos or people, but now they can filter people, photos, videos and news, and then further drill down by accepting results from all people or just people they follow, and tweets from all locations or just tweets from nearby. search filters update

Similar search filters were made available to Twitter users on mobile devices late last year, so this latest update brings in line with its mobile apps.

Tweeting birds image by turtleteeth via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic