Most recently, the great upstart of social networking tool, Twitter – a mobile messaging utility that allows media fans to update one another – has quickly established itself as a networking tool for producers, journalists and everyday consumers. Twitter is still very young in relation to other media channels, but already it has a diverse population of “subscribers.” In regards to the news industry, social text may not exactly save traditional platforms of news dissemination, and many journalists would argue it could fragment it further, however, social text sites are helping to spread news through faster means of communication and dissemination.
Twitter users may argue that by insinuating social text sites as an effective means of reaching out to a target audience, it all becomes part of a marketing social strategy for leading news industries. In addition, it becomes more beneficial in the long run for the news industry itself to put their material directly into a social media site and, consequently, increase the amount of traffic flow provided by various hyperlinks set up through social text sites, like Twitter. Essentially, even though the authority of newsmakers is challenged by the increased amount of news platforms available through social networking tools, there is equal opportunity for news producers to take advantage of these tools in order to expand their sources for news.
The message that the audience should be receiving from the influence of ‘tweeting’, is not to perceive social text sites as a reduction of pure, traditional forms of communication, but rather as an informal and approachable tool which is great for expressing a summary from an event, incident, or personal experience.” Twitter has become a part of social media, quickly working its way into the toolkit of the reporter, and the average blogger.
As the audience, and more recently, as active participants of the dissemination of the news and information process, we have greater opportunity to be exposed to a wider variety of news, suggested by a wider variety of people who we may ‘follow’ on Twitter. It is intended to deliver short, concise messages, which are essentially limited by the 140-character simple status updates, forcing users – and news providers – to stick to the point. Additionally, it allows for a number of voluntarily sources to collaborate with the writer, respond to requests for information and offer ideas he or she may not have considered, all within the unmediated space set up for public discourse and fueled by mass coordination.
This allows for Web users all over the region to contribute, not just journalists and agencies. However, the flood of tweets can often become overwhelming and sometimes even more confusing than informative, but it does entail a better sense of what is going on in that moment of time. Essentially, the risk for the Twitter user may be that he or she spends an inordinate amount of time reading and following other users tweets, and eventually, other (longer) forms of news become less interesting and require patience that the Twitter user may no longer have.
On the other hand, some users remain optimistic about the social media wave as an essential and prospering form of communication in line with modernity and the modern audience.