Social media apps have changed the way how people interact with each other. Along with many other perceived benefits, such apps have also become a great way for people all over the world to receive easy access to the news. With an increasing number of people using social media apps and platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, most tech-savvy individuals completely rely on such platforms for daily news updates.
Social media's impact on news is completely reshaping how we access information on the web. There are many uses when it comes to using social media apps for accessing of news. Let's take a moment to discuss them.
Social media's overall impact on news and journalism can be gleaned from the simple fact that even Google and Microsoft currently integrate Twitter messages into real-time searches for their respective search engines. Below, you will learn more about how social media has played an important role in furthering news distribution and real-time news discovery.
Facebook has emerged as a news powerhouse when compared to other social media websites and platforms. As per a recent survey, approximately 64% of the adults in the US make use of Facebook and half of these users get their daily dose of news through Facebook's app. This amounts to about 30% of the general population. These numbers are just for the US. Take a moment to analyze the numbers globally, it's in the billions!
Social media apps enable easy news shareability at the click of a button. These platforms also allow the readers to play an active role in sharing and analyzing news as opposed to television, radio, or newspapers. Additionally, a growing number of individuals are using social media for news by taking part in covering the news through live-posting of photos and videos of breaking news events as and when they happen.
Since social media feeds and news sites are updated every second, social media apps are great tools to publish information about the latest news and trending topics instantly. With an increasing population of people becoming passionate about social media each day, such users strive to stay in-tune with every little detail that is updated on these platforms.
With easy access to millions of people and users, you can post images and updates relevant to the issues and events taking place around you with maximum effect. All you need is access to the internet and a mobile device, and you can easily spread your message and create an impact on the minds of millions of users around the world.
Social media's impact on news is especially extensive when it comes to social media apps such as Facebook. The users get to read from a diverse range of news topics. Facebook, Twitter, and other app users regularly see six different topics when it comes to news, the most common being entertainment news. As per a recent survey 73% of the users often engage in this kind of content.
People around the world turn to various social media apps to access the news, although, Facebook seems to lead the pack when it comes to accessing news on social media apps. Some of the most popular social media apps that people use for news include -
As per a recent study a majority of the US adults (62%) use social media to get their news updates, which was 49% in the year 2012. 18% of these people used social media to get their news on a regular basis. This study conducted January 12, 2016 to February 8, 2016 analyzed the scope and characteristics of news consumers across 9 social media websites.
Take a look at the below chart which indicates the percentage of users who access each social media site, and the percentage of people who actually get their news through these platforms.
Apart from the above stated advantages, social media impact on news also has many limitations as well. Social media apps display news based on posts you've liked by using algorithms which interpret what you share, comment, and react to on the platform. From a business point of view, these social media apps want you to visit often and show you the content that you're more likely to enjoy and engage in. This can sometimes result in skewed results and news posts, which might not tell you the whole story, but rather serve you content based on your likes.
Secondly, the maximum number of Facebook users engages in entertainment news, which is why it isn't a great platform for readers to turn to for breaking news. Twitter, however, distributes information as news breaks, as opposed to Facebook (which is most widely used). This is a really big disadvantage since 30% of the US population is reliant on Facebook for news updates.
Twitter is one of the most popular platforms for spreading online news although it only allows a limit of 140 characters. As a result, Twitter and other similar social media platforms are not optimized to provide factual accounts of news since the space for users to provide information of actual occurrences is very limited and don't allow reporting authorities to provide detailed information of the event.
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