It is well known that Twitter is the main publishing platform for many celebrities, organizations and businesses for announcements, getting in touch with their followers and some even use it for customer service and support services. But is it also, an individual press release or reporting platform for news organizations?
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has conducted a study to investigate how news organizations are actually using Twitter and what role it has in their reporting process. The study examined 3,646 Tweets from 37 different feeds (13 U.S. news sources and 24 journalists) in one week.
Twitter Usages By News Sources Organizations
The findings reveals that Twitter is being used mostly as a promoting platform for the news source articles in their own websites and not as an individual press release or announcements reporting publicizing tool:
93% of the Tweets from the news sources and journalists have linked into their own sites, indicating that they perceived Twitter simply as a promotion tool for their pages and websites. Only 7% of the Tweets have linked to other sites or did not contained any links at all.
However, this may change in the course of time- The study also point on an incredible growth rate of more than 62% in U.S. Twitter users between November 2010 (8% of U.S. internet users) to June 2011 (13% of U.S. internet users). As Twitter becomes more popular and receives more exposure, news sources might gradually use it more also for reporting.
Twitter Is Trying Differently?
In the last couple of weeks there were many reports on the web that Twitter is experimenting with new search features to highlight the top news from authority sources on the micro-blogging social network. This may be a strategic move to allure users (news sources and journalists among them), to use Twitter as a reporting platform and not just for promotional purposes.
I believe that if Twitter will keep growing and will also improve its content discovery mechanism (search above all things), it will become as one of the main reporting platforms of news sources and organizations while more and more people will consume information from the social media.