News through Social Media

Jacob Ryd, Staff Writer

Today, we live in a technological world where almost everything composed is wired out online for consumers. This has turned into a remarkable trend in which news is shared to a large, web-based audience with easy access.

There are many key components that have made this sharing possible, a very important one being all the social media platforms that are out there. These social media sites, like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, are key, because they are where the younger generation, the millennials, spend their time.

In a study conducted by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX) in 2013, researchers looked into how much time the average person, ages 18-64, spend on social media sites. The number, which is quite shocking, is 3.2 hours a day.  For journalist, this information is very important when posting their articles, because they want to post it where people are very likely to see it.

A second key component is how computers today attain significant information from users. An example of this is how Facebook saves information from the user, such as websites the user goes on to, trends the user is interested in and other cached data. Due to this, a Green Bay Packers fan is very likely to get advertised posts on their news feed regarding Packer gear, game day news and other information. The use of this information can be perceived by many people as creepy or scary, like: “How does FaceBook know that I like the Packers?”

According to, Facebook, tracks its users when they are online, as well as when they are offline. Writer Matthew Humphries conducted the research on how much information is stored from each user, and the results were surprising, with about 800 pages of stored information from each user. This is all significant, because companies can buy this information from Facebook and later use it for researching significant trends and such.

Even journalists look at this information, but for them it may not be as equally important as for companies that sell products. Instead, journalists may look at this information to find trends, which they can write about.

For a college student today, social media is the place to be, where the information they need is located at and messages can be sent and received. This all has significance for journalists as they attempt to post their articles on Facebook. Being placed on social media benefits articles, because it allows them to be shared. One share, may lead to another share, which creates an echo that might end up on everyone’s news feed.

A very important note is that social media sites are not the only sites where people get their news, but is a source for a portion of the population. As said in the article “What Facebook and Twitter Mean for News,” posted in 2012 by Amy Mitchell and Tom Rosenstiel, writers for State of the Media, the news on social media sites are only additional path ways, and not replacements for more traditional ones.


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