Twitter has used the Berlin Christmas market attack to test push notifications of breaking news alerts in its iOS app. Buzzfeed notes that the company appears to be aiming to reinvent itself as a news app as it recently switched category in the App Store from Social Media to News.

After a truck crashed into the Berlin Christmas market […] Twitter pushed a breaking news alert to some of its users that linked to Twitter’s Moments tab, which summarizes the news in tweets. The company did a similar thing when Fidel Castro died last month …

Twitter confirmed to Buzzfeed that it has been sending breaking news alerts as part of a test, using a algorithm to decide who gets notified of what.

Twitter’s description in the App Store supports the idea that it is now presenting itself primarily as a news app.

See what’s happening in the world right now. From breaking news and entertainment, sports and politics, to big events and everyday interests. If it’s happening anywhere, it’s happening on Twitter. Get the full story as it unfolds, with all the live commentary.

Be part of what everyone is talking about and get videos, live footage and Moments, direct from the source.

Only in paragraph three does the company talk about sharing what’s happening in your own life.

One news event Twitter didn’t get to be part of was Trump’s tech summit, where it was said to have been excluded because it refused to created a #CrookedHillary emoji. Tim Cook did participate, and explained to employees that he felt it important to engage with government whether or not you agreed with its positions.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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