YouTube Newswire Curates Eyewitness Videos

A new Google service, YouTube Newswire, will curate eyewitness news clips in real time.

YouTube Newswire will feature both global and regional feeds that focus on the most relevant events worldwide, such as the earthquake in Nepal, protests in Ferguson and the Arab Spring, which indirectly inspired the feature. The service launched yesterday in partnership with Storyful, a social news agency Google has worked with since the protests in Egypt’s Tahrir Square four years ago.

According to YouTube’s blog, Storyful editors will curate and verify the most newsworthy eyewitness videos every day, embedding them from their original sources. Another aspect of Newswire, The First Draft Coalition, is a group of social media journalists who will create resources educating journalists on how to verify eyewitness videos.

Recent research from digital think tank L2 found that utilizing user-generated content from Instagram gives brands boosts in both engagement and sales, while McDonald’s incorporated UGC into a Snapchat campaign earlier this week. The popularity of UGC extends to YouTube as well: people watch more than 5 million hours of news videos on the platform every day.

In a similar move, Twitter is working on Project Lightning, which will curate newsworthy Tweets, images and videos, and display them on other platforms. An upcoming button on the mobile app’s home screen will display current trends, whether serious topics such as this week’s shootings in Charleston, South Carolina; events like the Grammys or NBA Finals; and even viral frivolity along the lines of The Dress. Project Lightning is said to debut later this year.

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