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Twitter Will Live Stream US Presidential Debates: Here's How To Watch

21 September 2016, 11:52 pm EDT By Horia Ungureanu Tech Times
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Twitter has teamed up with Bloomberg Television to live broadcast the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates for the 2016 election. The social media company made it easy for users to tune in to the debate using its apps, even on Apple TV.  ( Joe Raedle | Getty Images )

Twitter will live broadcast all the U.S. Presidential and Vice Presidential debates, in an attempt to craft itself as an important player in live streaming.

The social media company has inked a deal with Bloomberg TV for the live streams, as part of a larger cooperation effort that the two companies agreed upon at the beginning of 2016.

This is part of Twitter's strategy to get a slice of live events and TV, a campaign that included the streaming of popular NFL football games. The live video will be joined by curated tweets, and users will get access to it via native Twitter apps and through the @bpolitics Twitter account. What is more, the video-tailored Apple TV app is also included.

A dedicated URL will go live closer to the debates, so desktop users will be able to watch the debates live at debates.twitter.com. As opposed to Facebook's live streaming, Twitter offers the live coverage without asking users to log into their account.

Alongside the political dispute, the streams will feature a half-hour analysis and political commentary from Bloomberg Politics staff. The 30-minute program will take place right before and after the debates, which will be 90 minutes long.

The first debate between presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is scheduled for Sept. 26. Candidates for vice president Mike Pence and Tim Kaine will face off for the first time on Oct. 4. The second presidential debate will take place on Oct. 9, with the third debate scheduled for Oct. 19.

If the previous example of Twitter's live streaming experience will see repetition, the social network is zeroing in on success. The NFL streams from earlier this year showed that the content was easy to jump into, and that Twitter did a great job at curating tweets in real time. Admittedly, this will be a big challenge once partisan political trolls log in during the presidential debates, but we are looking forward to it.

However, there was one glaring issue with Twitter's sports streaming. Because of low speed, some viewers have noted that the digital streaming was about a minute behind the TV broadcast. This translated into people spoiling the action for others via tweets.

Twitter maintains that it is the ideal platform for watching political debates, underlining the increased role social media plays in contemporary politics. To back the statement, the company notes that during the primaries of the Presidential Elections, more than 1 billion tweets centered on the topic were thrown around. Another detail to remember is that, during the first Presidential debate of 2012, 10 million tweets addressing the subject crossed the internet.

Twitter aims to cater to the media consumption habits of an engaged and young audience, as the company reports that more than 50 percent of tweets sent about the 2016 election belonged to users 25 years old and younger.

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