Twitter: News Source or Shared Identity (or both?)
Updated: Mar 17, 2021
I feel like I am on a constant crusade to explain the intelligent, in-depth analysis and coverage that exists on Twitter. Twitter is my go-to news source. I find the differentiation on Twitter so fascinating.
When one refers to "political Twitter," "LLC Twitter," or [insert group] Twitter, they can see how diverse and personalized the platform has become. For example, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, in her February 1 press conference, referenced "Conservative Twitter" and the term itself trended on Twitter.
Journalists are advised to report the news. Don't become the news. But does this distinction translate into social media? If a news personality trends, do they harm the news organization—or are they perceived as being meta/self-referential?
At any rate, the narrowcasted conversation that exist with groups are indicative of a unique, self-segmentation. But rather than creating a marketing target or persona, they have created shared identities.
Then there is the notion of breaking news alerts and how users receive and read content. Often, news alerts are a cycle for me.
Take the death of Dustin Diamond. I had the CNN news alert (on my phone and on my computer). Then, I went right to Twitter (on my computer), but followed the story during the afternoon on Twitter for iPhone (refreshing the trend for more information). I shared a link from Variety with a friend.
In this example, my new consumption affected many different metrics.
Perhaps, when pondering how news organizations handle media analytics, we'll find that metrics for news organizations do not exist in silos; rather, they are interconnected as much as technology itself is interconnected.