University spin-out aims to break social media news first

Football transfer news - such as the contract extension signed by Riyad Mahrez - is one of the markets covered by Scoop. Picture: Paul Harding/PA Wire
Football transfer news - such as the contract extension signed by Riyad Mahrez - is one of the markets covered by Scoop. Picture: Paul Harding/PA Wire
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A digital service which identifies breaking news stories via social media aims to win business by keeping its customers one step ahead of their rivals.

Scoop Analytics is marketed at journalists, financiers and sports fans and claims to spot stories before they are reported by traditional news sources.

A spinout from the University of Glasgow, it offers subscribers updates from its custom-built newsgathering algorithm - which scours social media to identify breaking news.

The “advance warning” provided by Scoop provides has the potential to help financial traders access market information before it reaches the wider public, or keep football fans better informed on the latest transfer news.

Scoop offers the recent earthquake in central Italy as an example of its news-gathering potential.

The firm identified social media chatter about the natural disaster on August 24 and emailed subscribers at 2.44am - just five minutes after the first tremors hit.

By contrast, the first news sources to tweet about the earthquake were Russia Today and BBC News, which tweeted at 3am and 3:01am respectively.

Scoop Analytics is the creation of Dr Phil McParlane and James McMinn, both of whom studied at postgraduate level at the University of Glasgow’s School of Computing Science, and the university’s Professor Joemon Jose.

Dr McParlane said: “The increasing ubiquity of social media and the rise of citizen journalism has helped breaking news attract attention around the world faster than any other time in human history.

McMinn added: “The technology underpinning Scoop Analytics allows subscribers to get a glimpse of the future by automatically detecting news from the millions of social media streams around the world.

“Our sophisticated algorithm, which is the basis of my PhD, gives users the power to find breaking news before it breaks.

“We’ve already enjoyed significant success, with Scoops on King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia’s death and Riyad Mahrez signing of a new contract with Leicester City FC, and we’re excited to be bringing the service to new subscribers from today.”

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