Twitter currently rules the social media roost. Spencer Howson of 612 ABC Brisbane’s breakfast show talked about the importance of Twitter and how it adds to his listeners experience, providing the visual elements that radio lacks, while keeping the instantaneity. Twitter is a glorious and unique thing, one which people tend to either love or hate. It is short (140 characters to be precise) and very, very fast. Honestly I’m not a huge fan of the social media site, but the numbers speak for themselves.
Spencer says twitter provides great opportunities for journalists and news organisations; a platform for breaking news, connecting with your audience directly, crowd sourcing, promotion, sharing additional content such as photos/videos. It adds a whole new element to news. It is no secret that people respond positively to visual elements, perhaps it’s laziness, perhaps photos and videos just let us feel more like we were there. Providing listeners a platform to interact with you creates a stronger connection and improves the user’s experience.
It’s immediacy is what sets twitter apart from other social media platforms. Twitter is more suited to ‘breaking news’ than alternatives like Facebook in the same way that radio is better than a newspaper. An article by Cyberbuzz talked about the difference in Facebook and Twitter’s algorithms. Facebook sorts by popularity; the latest vine beats breaking news every time. Twitter, on the other hand, is all about immediacy.
The pace at which online journalism moves is indicative of advances in technology and the way people are consuming news. The way technology changes will always have the greatest influence on the way we deliver news. The brevity of twitter creates a unique challenge for news sites, capturing the audiences attention and getting them to click on your link with just a few characters isn’t easy.