It’s certainly not the first time that Twitter has made noises about the idea of launching a fully fledged news service, and certainly many people today use Twitter as a form of news feed every day. Indeed many of today’s news stories featured on television, radio and in the newspapers were promoted by emerging stories and events which first broke on Twitter.
But now one of the co-founders of Twitter, Biz Stone, has announced this week that he is seriously considering introducing a Twitter News Service which would be both open and shared with news organisations around the world.
The idea would be to use people’s tweets as a form of news network, and with 160 million people tweeting worldwide, this would certainly be the most widespread and democratic news service there has ever been, albeit one fraught with several problems. But it’s clear to see that a Twitter news service offers several advantages, a few disadvantages, and a few opportunities. So what specifically are the advantages, disadvantages and opportunities which a Twitter news service or news network provides?
The Advantages Of A Twitter News Service
One of the clear benefits is the fact that already it has been clearly demonstrated that Twitter is a news breaker. People right at the heart of events, on planes, in offices looking out of windows, on the street, in cars or at events are tweeting from their computers, laptops and mobiles, updating the whole world on news as it happens.
There is simply no way in which any news service can be in 160 million different places at once on the off chance that a news story might break. With Twitter’s immediacy there is an immediacy of news, and often news stories have been broken and developed almost exclusively through Twitter before even the biggest news networks have caught on and got moving.
Not only does this mean that a Twitter news service could be faster, more immediate and more responsive, but it’s also more democratic. As you read through the tweets relating to a breaking news story or event it’s easy to build up an overall view which often provides a far more accurate impression than a single news reporter can hope to achieve in the same time.
The Disadvantages Of A Twitter News Service
But of course there are also disadvantages with this system. Because there will always be those people who are more extreme, have a different take on the whole story, and implant their own biases into their reports. But whilst this is true, the overall mass of tweets provides a better understanding of the bigger picture. It’s in the numbers, as much as the immediacy, which helps to support the argument for a Twitter News Service.
Another disadvantage is that whilst the mass of numbers provides a real benefit, it comes at a price – noise. Twitter feeds, even ones focussing on a single story or hash tag, can be full of noise. There’s no one clear picture, but a noisy burble of differing views, opinions and impressions, and it isn’t always easy to sort the wheat from the chaff and discover the essence of the news story in an easily digestible and reliable way.
This is why a Twitter news service on its own probably wouldn’t work, instead serving as a feed to the news organisations around the world more able to process, curate, sift and organise the information coming in.
The Opportunities Offered By A Twitter News Service
But what of the opportunities? For many businesses one of the most effective ways of being found on Twitter is to follow the news, see what’s trending, and jump on the bandwagon. If you are able to hook your business into current events, concerns, interests or news stories, then you stand an even better chance of being found.
It may not necessarily be the big news stories of the day, but anything trending, anything current and anything relevant to even a sliver of the 160 million population who call Twitter home for at least some of almost every day, then your business can witness rapid growth.
Whether or not Twitter does launch a news service, it’s clear that an embryonic form of such a service already exists, and by learning how to follow trends and use hash tags it is already possible to make more growth in a single day than you may have seen in weeks or months.
If you need help or advice on how to strengthen your Twitter presence, why not get in touch and let us help your Twitter profile start working more powerfully for your business.