Twitter to livestream the presidential debates

Twitter today announced it will be livestreaming the presidential debates, following up on earlier successful live coverage of sports.

Like the NFL streams, Twitter will show the debates along with a live tweet feed. The coverage will be flanked on either end by commentary by Bloomberg Politics, and you’ll be able to tune in from any of Twitter’s apps (including TV-friendly ones like Apple TV and Xbox One), as well as at debates.twitter.com.

As the Verge points out, the issue will be keeping the feed relatively clean. Twitter did a good job on the NFL streams using a combination of machine and human filtering, but politics can be particularly nasty, and this has been an exceptionally vitriolic election.

Twitter is also fighting against Facebook this time around – which will also be streaming the debates – although the former has an edge here due to its penchant for public commentary and availability of platforms like Apple TV. Twitter makes its streams available to logged out users too, which is a nice touch of onboarding for cord-cutters.

Live commentary is probably the best thing about Twitter, so making both source and reactions accessible in one place is a great showcase of the platform’s strengths. If it all goes well, it could be a big boon for Twitter, which has long struggled getting everyday people to sign up, and it can help secure more streaming deals in the future.

In any case, it wont be long until we see how it goes; the first debate happens on Monday September 26.

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