Users complain after Twitter sends out a @breakingnews notification

Twitter has been testing a news alert service, and as we experienced firsthand today, many users aren’t happy about it.

As NASA’s Maven rocket launched toward Mars, we published a breaking news update.  A few minutes later without our knowledge, Twitter resent our @breakingnews tweet as a notification to an unknown number of users as part of the ongoing test.  Within moments, we began receiving complaints blaming @breakingnews for notifying them without permission.

Within an hour, the complaints numbered into the hundreds.  Many said they reported @breakingnews as spam or blocked our account for interrupting them with an insignificant story.  A few said they were pleasantly surprised by the story.

We contacted Twitter to ask to be removed from the experiment, and we’re contacting everyone who complained to apologize for receiving a notification from us without permission.

We’re intimately aware of how people don’t like being spammed with breaking news stories that don’t matter to them.  In fact, we just created a product that aims to solve that problem: a personalized Breaking News service, available on iOS and, where you can control the news you want to see.

As we’ve learned over the last few years running @breakingnews, push notifications are different than Tweets in a timeline.  Due to the interruption factor, there’s a higher expectation of importance and relevancy.  That’s why our new Breaking News app enables users to set their own custom alerts for topics and stories that matter to them.

We’re huge fans of Twitter — in fact, I believe we were the first news organization that began with a Twitter account — and the Twitter Media team has been very responsive to us.  We just hope today’s experiment isn’t a sign of where Twitter wants to take the news – back in time.

(Post by @corybe. Follow our team on @breaking.)

  1. jodrescher reblogged this from breakingblog
  2. localworldsw reblogged this from breakingblog
  3. sarahopey reblogged this from socialmediadesk and added:
    Twitter has a chance to rebuild their users’ trust by giving them more options and following through. Let’s hope they...
  4. datagoddess reblogged this from socialmediadesk
  5. lizzybees reblogged this from socialmediadesk
  6. socialmediadesk reblogged this from breakingblog and added:
    So this definitely doesn’t count as breaking anymore, but here is a great set of things to learn from breakingnews and...
  7. chrisshort reblogged this from breakingblog
  8. natantv reblogged this from breakingblog
  9. heavenlybunny reblogged this from breakingblog
  10. cbccloud reblogged this from breakingblog
  11. chaotic-hypnotic-erotic reblogged this from breakingblog
  12. breakingblog posted this