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New Study Shows Twitter is the Most Used Social Media Platform Among Journalists

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New Study Shows Twitter is the Most Used Social Media Platform Among Journalists

If you were looking to get some understanding as to why Twitter is so influential – despite having only around an eighth of the amount of active users that Facebook does – then this may well be the key point.

According to a new Pew Research study, incorporating responses from over 11,500 journalists based in the US, Twitter is by far the most used social platform among this group, which means that much of the reporting that you’re then seeing in media outlets is, at least in some way, being influenced by tweeted opinion.

As per Pew:

Among journalists, Twitter clearly ranks at the top of the list for work-related tasks. Around seven-in-ten U.S. journalists (69%) say it is the social media site they use most or second most for their job. Twitter is followed by Facebook at 52% and, far lower on the list, by Instagram (19%), LinkedIn (17%) and YouTube (14%). None of the other sites asked about in the survey – Reddit, WhatsApp, TikTok, Discord, Twitch and Snapchat – were named by more than 4% of the journalists surveyed.”

So while Twitter may not have the reach, or see the usage of these bigger platforms, it is used by those who are communicating the latest news of the day, often through these other sites – which means that, one way or another, those who are prominent on Twitter are having an outsized influence on the broader news cycle, which is why Twitter is so important for maximizing key messages and connecting with influential voices.

If you want to influence opinions, it’s often Twitter where this stems from. Sure, Twitter only has 229 million daily active users, but it’s less about the raw numbers here and more about who these people are.

The real-time nature of the tweet feed makes it the perfect place to stay up to date with the latest news as it happens, which is attractive to those who are the most engaged in their respective fields. These prominent, highly active influencers are often the ones ‘breaking’ news to their own communities and networks off-platform, but it’s Twitter where this info originates from, which underlines the importance of connecting with these aggregators at the source.

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We’ve witnessed this directly, with former US President Donald Trump essentially conducting policy decisions via tweet. Even during this period, Twitter didn’t see a huge jump in active users, but Trump’s every post was dissected, broken down and reported en masse, by the flurry of journalists who increasingly rely on the platform to stay in touch with the latest.

Connecting with these influential voices can play a key role in your communications strategy, even if you don’t think Twitter, in a direct sense, is worth the effort to reach your target audience. 

As you can also see in the above chart, general public response indicates that Facebook remains the most widely used social media site for news overall in the US, with 31% of US adults saying that they log into the platform regularly for new content. YouTube is the second-most frequently used site, with 22% of the public regularly getting news there.

Pew’s data also shows that Twitter is a particular favorite among the youngest journalists, with 83% of those aged 18 to 29 indicating that it’s their most commonly used social media site.

“In stark contrast, 45% of journalists 65 and older identify Twitter as one of their top two social media sites for work tasks. Instagram is also more popular among younger journalists (those under 50), while LinkedIn and YouTube are somewhat more popular among older journalists (those ages 50 and older).”

Pew Research Twitter study

In other words, Twitter’s influence is likely growing in this respect.

There’s also this:

“Journalists who say they work at an outlet whose audience leans right politically are much more likely than those with left-leaning audiences to say Facebook is one of their top two social media sites for their work (67% vs. 45%). Conversely, journalists who say their organization has a left-leaning audience are twice as likely as those who say their organization has a right-leaning audience to use Instagram (24% vs. 12%).”

Make of that what you will.

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The bottom line here is that Twitter is a hugely influential platform, whether you personally use it or not, and in this sense, the raw user data doesn’t tell the full tale of exactly how much tweets can influence public opinion, and bring awareness to key topics.

Maybe that’s why Elon Musk is so keen to purchase it, as a means to more directly influence media narratives – and maybe that’s what Musk means when he says things like he wants the platform to ‘further civilization and consciousness’.

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Instagram Expands NFT Display Options to More Than 100 Regions

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Instagram Expands NFT Display Options to More Than 100 Regions

While NFT sales continue to decline, and interest in the first wave of digital collectibles appears to be waning, Meta is expanding its support of digital collectibles, by making its NFT display option on Instagram available in more than 100 countries, meaning that the vast majority of IG users will now have the option to display their owned works in the app.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has posted his own signed baseball card, which will soon become an NFT, to announce the expansion.

Originally launched to selected creators in the US back in May, Instagram’s NFT display option enables users to showcase their NFTs within the main IG feed, in Stories or in Direct Messages.

As you can see in this example, NFTs on Instagram will be shown with a ‘digital collectibles’ tag, which, when tapped, will display information about the creator of the work, and the ownership of that digital item.

There’ll also be a new NFT tab added to participating accounts, with a tick in a hexagon to indicate verified NFTs.

Instagram NFTs

Instagram’s NFT process supports a range of connections to the top crypto payment tools, including Coinbase, Dapper, Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow. NFT owners are also able to connect their Rainbow, Trust Wallet and MetaMask accounts to verify NFT ownership.

The expansion could see NFTs become a bigger part of the Instagram eco-system, which, on one hand, seems a little ill-timed – because as noted, NFT sales are seeing a significant decline at the moment. But on the other, the integration will provide another way to support artists, with Meta specifically highlighting the benefits for creators from underrepresented communities to monetize their work.

If people keep buying them. According to a recent report from CoinTelegraph, NFT sales declined to their lowest levels in a year in June, bringing them back to, essentially, pre-NFT hype cycle levels.

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NFT sales in 2022

Of course, the broader downturn in the crypto market would also play a big role in this, but the overall consensus is that the air is coming out of the NFT market, as buyers continue to lose money – either to scams or market shifts – and the perceived value of NFT projects becomes less and less clear.

But still, this is likely only the first wave of digital collectibles.

A lot of Web3 folk like to talk about how ‘early’ they are to these trends, as if that’s a good thing, but the fact of the matter is that these early adopters are going to lose out, repeatedly, because these early projects will largely be worthless in the long run, while NFTs, as an offering, will change and morph into new areas that could see them hold value.

Just not as expensive cartoons that look like they’ve been stolen from the walls of an elementary school corridor.

The longer-term view for NFTs is that they’ll enable the trading of digital items in the metaverse, like clothing for your avatar or in-world items. This type of marketplace is already generating millions within game worlds, like Fortnite and Roblox, and Meta’s view is that NFTs are the first step towards facilitating the same on a broader scale.

As per Meta:

We’re exploring a wide range of web3 technologies because we believe they will expand access, reduce costs, and accelerate innovation, empowering people and creators around the world. We are excited to continue listening to feedback from creators and collectors as we continue to build in this space.”

Whether crypto remains a central peg in this, or it reverts to fiat currency, the potential is there for the NFT framework to facilitate this type of cross-platform trading. But not yet.

So, yes, current Web3 folk are early. But it may not be the flex that they think.

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On another front, Meta also notes that it’s working to reduce the emissions impact associated with the display of digital collectibles by purchasing renewable energy

There are various moving parts here, but the broader view is that this is not about displaying your monkey pictures within Instagram as the end, but it’s more of a stepping stone to enable Meta to integrate the trading of digital goods into its tools, in a way that aligns with current usage trends, and doesn’t feel as intrusive as, say, Meta building its own crytocurrency.

That would raise more questions, and open the door to increased regulation. But by integrating similar tools, and aligning with popular trends, that could be a more organic way to merge in digital items and payments, without raising as many eyebrows in the process.



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