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Twitter news source

If you are a member of any social media platform, you most likely receive news updates in some way via your social media community.

Twitter has been an especially important tool in deciding what is news by categorizing trending topics. Critics, journalists, and citizens alike determine what events and happenings are considered newsworthy on this platform. By publicizing short messages in the form of 140-characters to a community of followers, news is created rapidly by thousands of people across the globe on a second-to-second basis. These brief messages, by default, are typically well constructed and to the point. The simple and standard characteristics of a Tweet are also essential components of constructive news messages. When the object of posting a Tweet is to create news, spread information, or create awareness – a form of active journalism is taking place.

Additional tools that enable news dissemination to take place on Twitter are as follows:

  • The hash tag phenomenon has allowed users of Twitter to organize and gather their experiences in alignment with other like-minded thinkers and doers. The platform of Twitter provides a well niched journalistic template. Consumers of information are also the information providers. The communication that takes place through a “re-tweet” or a “reply” is reciprocal and dynamic. The chance that a Tweet will go viral and create conversation is always probable due to the nature of the platform.
    • Hash tagged viral videos will be equipped to gain significant momentum with the advent of live streaming video applications such as Periscope. Video feeds displayed on the applications' cover page will prompt conversation and bring attention to topics based on real time coverage.
  • The capability of breaking news to reach magnitudes of individuals within moments of an event has been forever improved by wireless Internet capability and the precision of modern-day video and photograph smart phone capabilities.
    • The popularity factor of mobile video is experiencing an upswing. "By 2017, video will account for 30 percent of internet traffic and 70 percent of traffic on mobile devices."
  • Perhaps the most revolutionary facet of Twitter’s journalistic potential is its ability to promote citizen journalism. Twitter has allowed average folks to report on and publicize breaking news long before the photos and details make it to major news networks.
    • The feelings of instant gratification and reward are commonalities among information sharers on social media platforms. Advice, interaction, immediacy, and relationship building through communicative efforts promote the idea of the citizen journalist even further. Periscope's live streaming video capability provides immediate information to audiences, which contributes to looping real-time feedback.

How will high-performing video applications, such as Periscope, on Twitter affect the realm of "hashtag" and citizen-generated journalism? Please feel free to share recent examples of how journalists have maximized the intended benefits of this software.

*Twitter Infographic sourced from this page

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