Free apps for News

Breaking News app

Our editors monitor hundreds of global news sources and social media for the first original instance of a breaking story. We publish several hundred updates a day on BreakingNews.com and our, and we select a few dozen updates to post on our social media accounts. Each update contains prominent source attribution and a link to the story (if provided).

We surface partner stories in two ways:

  1. If it’s a breaking story of regional, national or international interest, our editors will review it and potentially publish an update to all Breaking News users.
  2. If it’s a local breaking story, people who are physically near the story may see it automatically appear in the Breaking News app.

By becoming a Breaking News partner, newsrooms can fast-track their breaking tweets to our editorial team and automatically publish local news tweets in the Breaking News app.

It starts with adding your Twitter account. To request to join our partner program, please drop us a note with your name, email and news organization's Twitter handle. We're approving news organizations with a track record of covering breaking news directly (as opposed to curating it.)

Once you're whitelisted, just include #breaking, #breakingnews or @breakingnews anywhere in a breaking news tweet:

The same also applies for any mention of the #AmberAlert or #SilverAlert hashtag in a tweet.

Within a couple minutes, your tweet will appear in front of our editors. If it’s a breaking story about a location and it contains a location name — like the last two examples above — it will automatically appear in the “nearby” feed of the Breaking News app to people who are near the story. The best location names are cities, towns and major place names (like the Space Needle, Central Park, etc.)

Our goal is to identify the first instance of the story, although in reality, sometimes we publish the first original instance of the story that we see. This is why the partner program is important for publishers to jump above the fray. We avoid opinion pieces, features and most investigative stories (unless it's breaking news in itself.)

What kind of breaking stories?

We're looking for original breaking news stories with regional or greater interest. We try to avoid truly local news stories, and we're careful to not favor one news organization over another. During a big story, we publish a higher volume of updates, including links to live video coverage, social media photos and YouTube clips. We avoid opinion pieces, features and most investigative stories (unless it's breaking news itself.)

Our goal is to identify the first instance of the story, although in reality, sometimes we publish the first original instance of the story that we see. This is why the tipster program is important for publishers to jump above the fray.

Where are the links published?

Beyond the Breaking News apps (iPhone, Android and Windows) and BreakingNews.com, we select a subset of stories to appear on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr, Flipboard and Google Currents.

Identifying these referrals can be tricky due to the diverse nature of our network. If you see big burst of traffic from Twitter, Facebook or an unknown source, that may have originated from Breaking News social accounts or our apps.

Who is Breaking News?

We’re a separate startup inside the NBC News Digital Network with offices in Seattle, New York, and London. Despite being owned by NBC News, we're staunchly agnostic, working with editorial partners of all shapes and sizes.

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