Nieman Foundation at Harvard
This Indian startup wants to free — and find stories in — public data that’s messy and inaccessible
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Aug. 19, 2013, 2:16 p.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   August 19, 2013

Twitter announced a new feature today aimed at surfacing “the stories behind a tweet.” If a tweet has been embedded into a news story, those headlines (and seemingly, other relevant headlines as well) will be displayed below the tweet. For example:

This year when NBA center Jason Collins became the first NBA player to publicly come out, the news traveled quickly on Twitter. As outlets like ESPN, MSNBC and sports blog Bleacher Report reported the story, they embedded @jasoncollins34’s Tweet and then provided additional context that wasn’t available directly on Twitter.

With the new feature, those headlines would be displayed as an attachment to Jason Collins’ original tweet.

Some seem to think the headlines feature is aimed at undercutting the snarky joy that is sub-tweeting; others argue it’s a move towards increasing ad revenue. In some ways, it also recalls Google’s announcement earlier this month that it had developed a feature that would would surface in depth articles based on certain search queries. While the content being highlighted is different, both projects are aimed at providing informative background information that the searcher may not even realize she needed.

It’s also a useful reminder that every little widget you embed on your page — that Facebook Like button, that Quora quote, that lovely tweet — is also a data beacon sending information back to the tech company that built that little <iframe> for you to drop into your post body.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
Join the 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
This Indian startup wants to free — and find stories in — public data that’s messy and inaccessible
What is the state of philanthropy in India? Why are girls dropping out from certain schools at higher rates? How India Lives looks for the answers to these types of questions other organizations have, in publicly available data.
Newsonomics: “Retiring” from Tronc, what is Michael Ferro up to?
Three possibilities: Tronc merges with Gannett, Ferro tries to take the company private, or — maybe — Tronc begins to act more like a normal company.
Live life like a local: Whereby.Us adds two more cities to its growing roster
“I want people to enjoy the newsletter like they would a nice conversation over coffee or a cocktail or while sitting in a wooden swing on a porch.”