Twitter Tests Breaking News Alerts On Users Who Never Signed Up


Twitter tested out some breaking news alerts this week on users who never actually signed up for them. Moments after confirmed reports of a shooting near a Pittsburgh high school, some Twitter users received a breaking push notification tweet from the Associated Press.

Unlike the 35,000 users who subscribe to Twitter’s breaking news alerts, these users weren’t expecting to be notified. Several of them responded back to the Associated Press, saying:

It’s not the first time Twitter experimented with breaking news push notifications, considering it already has Event Parrot (direct message news alert service) and MagicRecs (experimental follow and tweet recommendation service). However, users who received the AP tweet weren’t signed up for either, and didn’t appear to follow the news source either.

Buzzfeed suggested Twitter may be testing and refining a breaking news system, possibly for a future broad rollout. Given who received the tweets, it’s likely the test pool is random.

Melissa Stusinski
Melissa grew up in the Seattle area, but moved to Indiana to attend Anderson University in 2005 and was editor at the school's Literary Arts Magazine for two years. When she isn't focused on writing, Melissa enjoys working on cars, gaming, and exploring new places. [Contact:]


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