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Social media newswire Storyful will launch a UK-focused channel on 4 April and expand its London-based team as demand for stories from social media continues to grow, the company announced today.

The new channel will cover breaking news and trending stories, but also viral content coming out of the UK.

Rahul Chopra, Storyful's chief executive, told political stories will also be a point of focus for the UK Newswire.

"The local election in the UK has been something we've done in the past and been very successful at. With everything around Brexit, it's a big opportunity."

Founded in 2010 in Ireland, Storyful was acquired by News Corp at the end of 2013. Its newswire surfaces, verifies and distributes eyewitness media to newsrooms.

The launch of the UK Newswire comes after the company started an Australian channel eight months ago, which now counts a dozen members of staff.

In London, Storyful plans to expand the team to ten in the next couple of months, said Chopra, having already grown it to six staff members ahead of the launch of the new channel.

As the amount of content posted to social networks by people all over the world continues to increase, eyewitness media has become an important part of breaking news reports.

Coverage of the terror attacks in Brussels last week featured videos and images shared by eyewitnesses from the scene, but also a series of misrepresented videos.

"There was a major push from newsrooms for accurate and timely stories that were coming from the scene. Unfortunately there were a handful of newsrooms that were using inaccurate stories," said Chopra.

"That security blanket we provide to news organisations has become more important with eyewitness media playing a bigger role in big news stories."

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