Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), (NASDAQ:GOOGL) doesn’t seem like it wants to buy into Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), but the firm is sure aiming to take a good part of the firm’s market. YouTube unveiled a new feature, called NewsWire, on Thursday. The new channel will offer real verified footage of current events. Jim Cramer is bound to be happy with the offering.
Project Lightning, a Twitter project that will try to give the firm a strong grasp on live events, was also revealed on Thursday. Google’s NewsWire will include a feed from Twitter, but it’s clear that the two firms will have to either join forces, or become hard enemies in the battle for control of breaking news.
Google puts real video out there
YouTube has become one of the best sources for breaking news in recent years as people capture video of ongoing events on their phones and upload it to the site. Until now that footage has been all over the place and hard for a single user to put together.
At the same time a number of spoof accounts add old footage into the mix, claiming that it is part of the breaking news story in order to garner views quickly. Google is trying to change that, and it’s working with Storyful, a News Corp unit that works to verify online videos, in order to do so.
Storyful’s job will be to spot the hoax videos before Google posts them as part of a news package. That will be an important part of the curation put into the YouTube NewsWire platform.
The team at Soryful, which is lead by Irish journalist Mark Little, has worked to show that many viral hits, including Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’ alleged flipping of the bird, were fake. News Corp bought the Dublin-based agency for just over $20 million on December 20 2013.
Google and Twitter build Cramer’s dream
Twitter’s Project Lightning will focus on live events and let users of the platform follow them as they unfold. The important part of the NewsWire service is its work with Storyful to verify online video, but the presence of a Twitter feed in the Google NewsWire product shows a growing alliance between the two firms.
Many commenters, including Chris Sacca and Jim Cramer, have said that they would welcome a bid from Google to buy Twitter. Jim Cramer actually said that a product quite like NewsWire would be the perfect way for the two firms to work together to create new value.
Cramer said back on April 30 that the two firms should merge and create live events broadcast on Youtube that would attract a lot of attention. and include a Twitter feed. The firms could charge big firms to Tweet on the platform as a form of advertising, and curate the other Tweets that came through.
Cramer said that Google should buy the rights to major sporting events and host them on its platform in order to get the name of their product out there.
That plan may not work to start off with as Google is showing videos for breaking news only, but the firm could easily pivot into big major events, and it may even be able to get the rights to them.
Cramer might be more interested in how much money Twitter is going to get from the deal, if it’s nothing but exposure Mr. Cramer and Twitter shareholders are unlikely to be pleased.
Where that leaves Project Lightning, the Twitter product that does the same thing as YouTube NewsWire though in a different way, is not clear. The growing links between Twitter and Google have caused more than one big name to guess that the firms might merge.