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The Rise of Facebook and Twitter For News

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More people are turning to Twitter and Facebook to get their daily news hit than ever before, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center in the US.

The study, which was conducted in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, revealed that 63 per cent of Twitter users and 63 per cent of Facebook users are using the social networking mediums as a news source. The statistics are not surprising. Given the world’s growing addiction to social media, it’s easy to see why people are favouring social networks like Facebook to deliver their news, rather than relying on television, radio or print. One, they’re simple and convenient to use. Two, news is updated constantly. I mean, what’s easier than scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed to see what’s happening in the world? It only takes a few seconds to click on the Facebook app on your smartphone before you’re instantly connected to news around the world. Take this week’s announcement of the Liberal Party spill. A colleague heard about the spill via a text message from a friend. After trying to unsuccessfully find news updates on various Australian online news sites, we finally found up-to-date, as-it-happened coverage and commentary on the spill on Twitter. The speed of reporting by social media is by far one of its greatest advantages. Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 2.50.06 pm However, it’s wise to exercise caution if you depend on social networks for your daily news. Facebook, for example, suffers from a proliferation of hoax articles that are reposted hundreds of times and taken as gospel. Analyse articles carefully to ensure they come from a reliable, trusted source. In this case, not all news is good news.