The Power of Twitter in the News World

(Picture by Roberto Baldwin / Engadget)

It’s no surprise that Twitter is one of the most powerful social media nowadays when it comes to sharing information with one another. But how did a website that wasn’t originally designed for the purpose of news become so reliable when it comes to verifying information?

First of all, due to its wide accessibility, Twitter has a much more practical way to consume news when compared to newspapers, for example. So, is that enough to make people use it as their main source of information? Let’s break it down a little.

Real or fake?

One of the biggest issues with getting your information from online platforms is that we are often not sure if the source we are using is trustworthy or not.  With Twitter, there are some tools that can help us manage that better, such as verified accounts, headlines, trends and hashtags.

Verified Accounts

Almost every single company will have an official Twitter account, especially big news organizations. Why? Well, it’s a fast and easy way to post any kind of content, and the ability of knowing if an account is verified or not allows you to identify the accuracy of that information.

Now, that’s easier illustrated with business once they don’t usually post fake content about their own brand, but with news that can be a little tricky. Thankfully, Twitter has around 25% of verified journalists, which can guide you through searching what information is real or fake.

In fact, 75% of Twitter users get their news from the platform, being the majority Millenials and Gen Z, who represent around 65% of all users. Being able to select the kind of content directed to you is something that the newer generations have found very suiting. 

On top of that, Twitter users are able to interact and to see other people’s interactions with a post when they click on it. Those interactions can be helpful for the public to collect more information about a determined subject and for the companies to analyse their response to it.

Headlines

Twitter is also well known for allowing a limited number of characters on a post. Some of you might be familiar with the term “clickbait”, which is used to define headlines that immediately catch the reader’s attention and make them want to click on the link to know more about it. 

On Twitter, headlines considered “clickbaits” end up being the most effective ones, due to the flow of engagement of the users when on the platform. But then again, if the clickbait is fake, that could ruin a company’s reputation, so you might want to be careful with that.

Trends and Hashtags

Another useful tool on Twitter is the tab located right beside your timeline, called “trends”. Trends are purposefully directed to your location, interests, and the accounts you follow, so that the user can easily find or search for anything at any given time.

When it comes to promoting news content, just like any other social media platform, Twitter takes advantage of the famous “hashtags”. Hashtags are probably the easiest way to get some extra attention to a certain post or subject people have been talking about lately.

According to the website Oberlo, Twitter users spend an average of 3.39 minutes per session on the platform, so the expectations are high when it comes to quickly finding what they are looking for. That’s why hashtags are so important for both the public and the companies in the business.

Other News Features

As pointed out by the website My GSC, Twitter “is now known for its up-to-the-minute communication from reputable “breaking news” accounts” due to features such as live news broadcasts and placing breaking news tweets at the top of user timelines (Forbes).

The Future of News

It is still early to say if Twitter will eventually overcome the traditional massive media communication platforms, such as Television and Radio, but its influence in the news world leaves no doubt that the competition will only get tougher with time. 

logo design for self

IMA Beginning Experience

The Interactive Media Arts program is different than what I imagined in a lot of ways. There is a lot more writing, coding, and frustration than I had expected. If you come from a background of taking design or art classes in high school, a thought that might come up is should I be here? The first month was mostly for me was review for design principles, colour theory, and learning Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. It felt like a waste of time, and I was an angsty teen in high school. But I am glad all of our projects quickly kicked up, and honestly kicked my butt at the end of the semester. 

Coding requires a lot of effort. Luckily our teacher Malena had patience with us. It’s a lot of problem-solving. I see how it can easily irritate people when you try and fix something, and it just spirals, but it’s quite cool to create imagery from text to communicate with the computer. Figuring out a problem feels like a great achievement. It is quite a cool process that can be fun once you understand things.

Design is mostly what I came into the Interactive Media Arts program for. On top of the things I knew before I entered this program, I have gained so much more knowledge. From little bits in Adobe programs, to appreciating photography.  Taking photography for a design project and producing everything yourself makes it feel like much more of an extra accomplishment than grabbing royalty-free images. By taking the images yourself, you can capture the exact direction you want to go in. Not that there’s anything wrong with using free images, but it just adds to the project a lot more from what I’ve found; and it’s instantly more personal to the creator. One of the pieces I’ve created so far with photography, was a project creating a postcard with a picture taken of my cat for Halloween.

Halloween Postcard I photographed and edited for Derek Ford’s class, semester 1.

After Effects and Premiere Pro were two completely new programs to me. Once you grasp the concept of one, it’s easy to see how some elements are similar, and make understanding the other one easier. They’re both programs you learn in the IMA program that make it easier to create video content. Even though it is not what I came here for, I am glad to have learned Premiere Pro because it has already opened new direction I can go in with projects.

I have gained so much good experience so far and I find myself excited to learn when I show up. All of the teachers know how to make this program as enjoyable as can be and work hard to achieve that while still producing results in their students. That is why I decided to stick with it.