Philip Ellis
News & Views
Twitter now streaming live UK election coverage

Twitter is teaming up with the BBC to broadcast live video content of the UK general election over the next seven days, ahead of the big day on Thursday 8th June. The streaming video agreement launched with a stream of the BBC’s election debate on Tuesday 31st May, and will continue with special episodes of Question Time on 2nd and 4th June, a Newsbeat Youth Debate on 6th June, concluding with an Election Night Results Special on the 8th.

Streams will include live tweets from users via hashtags like #bbcelection, as well as real-time comments from BBC commentators. The social network ran similar live-streams of presidential debates in the US ahead of the election in November 2016.

This latest political coverage marks an increase in investment in live video, coming just weeks after Twitter’s NewFronts announcement of a partnership with Live Nation to stream concerts on its app and website.

Twitter has been experimenting with new features in order to help promote its live video content, including the ability for users to set a push notification reminder for the live event, and new lines of miniature copy under tweets which indicate the concert’s sponsor. For a Marian Hill concert this week, all tweets relating to the event were consolidated into a single branded timeline.

“As we continue to build out new live video experiences, we are experimenting with a few new features and working closely with brands to find the best opportunities for them to participate,” states a Twitter spokesperson.

According to AdWeek, Twitter streamed 800 hours of live video programming in the first quarter of 2017, up from 500 in the fourth quarter of 2016 when it began. In addition to entertainment and politics, Twitter COO Anthony Noto has stated that there are plans in the works to bring more of a “mix” to their live roster, including sports, e-sports and news, through deals with BuzzFeed, Viacom, the NFL, WNBA, and PGA Tour.

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