New Software Can Detect Breaking News Leads on Social Media

Dataminr is a software tool that can find patterns in the millions of tweets posted every day to help news organizations spot leads for breaking news. CNN, BBC, and Gannett had already been testing Dataminr before the software was officially released on Tuesday. The new “Dataminr for News” includes a new mobile app, which will send alerts to notify journalists of developing stories. Dataminr is one of several technologies that media companies are using to mine social media.

Dataminr_Alert_WidgetThe software was originally created for clients in the financial and public sectors, but it has found a niche in media. Dataminr said on its website that thousands of journalists at over 50 news organizations use its technology.

Journalists from USA Today, CNN, BBC, The Weather Channel, and other news outlets, can customize their settings on Dataminr so that their alerts will related to their areas of interest.

“On the whole this is one of the best technical tools we have,” Richard T. Griffiths, senior editorial director at CNN, said in The New York Times. “Besides our local affiliates, it is probably our best source of story leads, and you live or die by your leads.”

Other businesses are also trying to help media companies find leads. News Corporation bought Storyful, a startup that finds breaking news on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Flickr.

Vocativ teamed up with NBC to identify up-and-coming YouTube videos. Dataminr and Twitter also work together to create the seamless news-finding tool “Dataminr for News.”