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Breaking News apps
Find out first with the Breaking News app
Download our free app for Android, Windows Phone, and more

FIND OUT FIRST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST

BZZZZT! BZZZZT! BZZZZT!

Your phone sounds. You look at the alert on your screen. Another news app sending you a frivolous update, like their whole business model is based on bugging you.

"That's not breaking news!" you say. Well, we agree. The free Breaking News apps won't waste your time or try your patience.

Our editors monitor social media and bring you breaking stories that are uniquely important to you. Get just the facts you need from trusted sources — fast. Here are some features of our free app:


NEARBY?

Proximity Alerts. When big news breaks near your location, we'll let you know. Our editors control how big the radius of the alert is to make sure it reaches you at a relevant, important time (iOS only).


ALERT?

Alert any topic. Whatever you want, whenever it happens. You'll know as soon as we hit the publish button. Receive push alerts for your city, your state, your country, your team, your weather, or even just that one story you can't stop thinking about (iOS and Android only).


MUTE?

Mute any topic. One touch and it's gone. Hide stories that annoy you or are just clogging up your feed. If you have any particular aversions (Justin Bieber, anyone?), search for the topic and mute it proactively. See, didn't that feel good?


SAVE?

Watchlist topics. Sometimes you just want to refer to it later. Save topics you want to track to your Watchlist. We'll make sure you see those items in your stream, too, by making them just a bit more noticeable.


WHOA!

Share your reaction with Whoa! Press that button when a story surprises you, or catches you off guard. As you “Whoa” updates in real-time, you help power a list of the most surprising stories, photos and videos at the bottom of the feed.

Everything is still vetted by our team: the fastest, most accurate, and most neutral team of breaking news professionals in the world. Our editors in New York, London and Seattle discover the news as soon as it happens, wherever it happens. Look for our "editors on duty" at the top of the site or app to see who's bringing you the news.

BREAKING NEWS APP

“Indispensable”
“Gold standard for news aggregation”
“Best app to catch breaking news”
“The best app I have, honest to god, is the Breaking News app. [It] stays up with everything that's going on, up to the minute.”

There's an advantage knowing moments before everyone else.

As the world accelerates, you need an edge.

The free Breaking News app is an early-alert service trusted by journalists, business travelers and security teams around the globe.

Drawing on thousands of sources, Breaking News surfaces verified stories before any other news app. Monitor important topics, and discover when news breaks near your location, wherever you go.

ABOUT BREAKING NEWS

What's Breaking News?

We bring you the biggest breaking stories as they happen, 24 hours a day. Our experienced, caffeinated journalists scour the planet for breaking news, quickly sifting out unconfirmed reports and duplicate stories. We boil it down to a reliable, real-time feed that focuses on just what's new. No need to keep refreshing; updates appear automatically, and you can find us on just about every web, mobile and social channel available.

We're best known for our @breakingnews Twitter feed, but our mobile and tablet apps are popular for customizable coverage and lightning-fast push alerts. Over on BreakingNews.com, we publish a full firehose of breaking updates. You can also find us on Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and Instagram.

Why we do what we do

In today's social media world, breaking news is everywhere. From thousands of news organizations to millions of "accidental journalists" armed with smart phones, breaking stories are screaming for your attention every minute of the day. It's increasingly hard to keep track of it all—and know what's real. Our goal is to make breaking news matter again, instantly alerting you of the stories you need and want to know. No screaming, no fluff, no rumors—just news.

How we do it

We've surrounded ourselves with computer screens and custom tools to help us discover and verify breaking news quickly. We also depend on an awesome community of nearly 300 news organizations that tip our editors via Twitter hashtags. As news organizations and eyewitnesses break original stories, we link them directly, sending an average of 200K clicks a day. We're a social media wire that gives credit where credit is due.

We also need your tips, too. If you see a breaking story—for example, on Twitter or YouTube—click "Submit a link" ( ) next to the editors on duty at the top of BreakingNews.com to alert our editors.

Who we are

We're a group of dozen or so journalists and technologists who work in Seattle, New York, London and Los Angeles. We believe the future of news is to solve problems for people, and we've started an unprecedented company to do just that. We're part of NBC News Digital, but we're a standalone, agnostic startup that thrives on bringing journalism and technology together in new and innovative ways.

Aaron Edwards

Aaron Edwards

Editor

New York

Lauren McCullough

Alex Swan

Developer

Seattle

Andy Boyle

Andy Boyle

Developer

Chicago

Ben Tesch

Ben Tesch

Creative Director

Los Angeles

Chris Matsumoto

Chris Matsumoto

Developer

Los Angeles

Cory Bergman

Cory Bergman

General Manager

Seattle

David Wyllie

David Wyllie

Editor

London

Gaston Sweeten

Gaston Sweeten

Developer

Seattle

Grace Johnson

Grace Johnson

Editor

New York

Jillian Stampher

Jillian Stampher

Editor

Seattle

John Jacecko

John Jacecko

Developer

Los Angeles

Martin McClellan

Martin McClellan

Designer

Seattle

Stephanie Clary

Stephanie Clary

Editor

Seattle

Tricia McDermott

Tricia McDermott

Editor

New York

Tom Brew

Tom Brew

Editorial Director

Seattle

Zoya Ali

Zoya Ali

Developer

Seattle

For behind-the-scenes accounts from our team, check out our blog and @breaking Twitter account. And drop us a note anytime.

Our history

The Twitter account @breakingnews was launched by Michael Van Poppel in 2007, and the Msnbc Interactive Network took over the handle in a deal with Van Poppel's BNO News in 2009. Over the next couple years, a small team inside Msnbc Interactive expanded real-time coverage to BreakingNews.com, mobile apps and new social channels. The team grew into a standalone startup called Breaking News, which was part of NBC’s acquisition of Msnbc Interactive in 2012. Today, Breaking News is part of the NBC News Digital Network.

PARTNERS

“Breaking News drives millions of clicks every month to original breaking stories.”

Breaking News rewards publishers by amplifying their original breaking stories to a larger audience. It’s easy for newsrooms to participate, regardless of affiliation. Nearly 400 news organizations have become a Breaking News partner by whitelisting their Twitter account with us.

Why participate?

We began on Twitter as @breakingnews (nearly 8M followers), and we’ve grown into a large distribution network spanning mobile apps, BreakingNews.com and social accounts. Together, Breaking News drives millions of clicks every month to original breaking stories, not to mention a burst of social sharing and a big SEO stake in the ground.

In today’s world of “over aggregation,” Breaking News helps news organizations stay ahead of the stories they break. Think of us as a real-time wire service that gives credit where credit is due.

How does it work?

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 mobile apps, 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, London and Los Angeles. Despite being owned by NBC News, we're staunchly agnostic, working with editorial partners of all shapes and sizes.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop us a note.

Our current partners:

BLOG

If you're interested in how we do our work, you'll be interested in our blog. Read more on blog.breakingnews.com

CONTACT US