These days, news gets out at an alarming speed. We no longer have to wait for the evening news or the morning paper to find out what’s happening in the world around us. Within seconds of an event unfolding, we not only know what’s happening, but we’ve seen a flood of comments and opinions surrounding the event.
Social media is becoming the place for breaking news. Other media, like television and newspapers, have become more of a way to flesh out the news and provide further information. It’s generally where we find videos, images, and exclusive interviews with individuals connected to the story.
Stories that broke on social media included Whitney Houston’s death, the Hudson River plane crash, and the Osama Bin Laden raid and death. The capture of the Boston Marathon bomber was even announced through a tweet.
Research collected by Schools.com in 2012 found that more than 50 percent of people learn about breaking news from social media, rather than official news sources. It also found that 27.8 percent of people get their news from social media, just behind newspapers at 28.8 percent.
Social media has also transformed news into a social experience. Virality has become a huge factor in what stories we hear about and which ones we don’t. We often discover articles based on what our friends have read. Many publications have done a great job of incorporating social media into their content strategy and even pulling in social media buzz to flesh out their stories. However, there are still publications that struggle to embrace social media’s presence in the news and are missing out on great opportunities.
Right now, a lot of news or magazine applications have created one-way conversations — the publisher to the readers. They don’t allow for much conversation to happen within the apps. We want to change things and go beyond a simple share or retweet. We want to build a news distribution service that is social in nature.
Disdo allows for commenting, sharing, tweeting, and engaging with a publisher’s content, regardless of whether you’re on Facebook, Windows 8, Android, an iPhone, or a tablet.
We recently used Disdo to build a social reader for the Toronto Star that takes social news even further. The app places news sharing directly within the Facebook experience and tailors users’ news feeds based on their interests and those of their friends.
So what does the world of social media and the news hold? There’s room for growth. In the case of the Boston Marathon bombing, the rush to break the story led to a few innocent men being pegged as the bomber. Once misinformation is out there, it spreads like wildfire, and it’s hard to contain. Publications still need to find a balance between getting the news out quickly and taking time to check their facts.
Mario Zelaya is the founder and global managing director of Majestic Media, a digital marketing agency and Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer. His extensive experience on the Facebook platform includes building out social strategy, campaigns, and app architecture for clients such as Volkswagen, Kia, General Motors, Mazda, Gatorade, Hot Wheels, Infiniti, Nissan, Visa, and many others. Majestic Media has executed more than 200 large-scale campaigns, and it works with big brands and agencies in helping them to get results and return on investment through marketing platforms that are social by design. Follow Majestic Media and Zelaya on Twitter.