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Twitter Makes a #Splash

How we consume the news has evolved and will continue to do so, from newspapers to downloading the digital edition on your iPad. There is no need to own a TV as there are apps that allow content such as Sky News that can be viewed from your phone. Then there is the most revolutionary way we acquire our news on a daily basis… Twitter.

For example I am a football supporter (the team shall remain nameless) before every match I am eager to know the line-up. If the game was televised I would wait until the broadcaster released that information.

That has all changed now; I follow football correspondents who get the line-up information as soon as they have it and immediately release it on to Twitter, usually an hour before kick-off. By the time Sky Sports announces the team I would have known this for half an hour.

In years gone by, you would have waited for the nightly news to hear of stories from around the world. Using a social media channel such as Twitter, the news will be reported as it develops, such as the raid on Osama Bin Laden which was first noticed by a blogger in Abbottabad who reported hearing explosions.

Trending topics on Twitter allow information to be spread at a rate that news organisations could only dream of. Although there are news aggregators I think Twitter is by far the best method of getting it.

This brings me on to Saturday Night’s episode of the new series on ITV1 called “Splash”. If you had the fortune (or misfortune) of watching the programme, viewers took to Twitter to vent their opinions on the show. For those who are unfamiliar with the premise of the show it features “celebrities” (I use that term loosely) who are coached by Tom Daley (Olympic Diver) and are judged. Each week a celebrity is voted out until there is a winner.

During the broadcast the hashtag “#splash” was shown so that viewers of the show could tweet as it was going on. This soon turned to into a wave of negative tweets such as:

Although there was a large volume of negative tweets, the show was viewed by 5.6 million people which is a 23.6% share. This was more than “Take Me Out” which got 4.5 million which was a 18.6% viewers share.

Previously, when a TV show was being viewed, getting feedback was a fairly arduous process. In December 2012, Nielsen and Twitter announced that they would collaborate to create a new system for TV ratings. The traditional ratings system will be supplemented to take into account mobile and online conversations.

I envisage Twitter refining its system so that when a user logs in there would be a specific news section which would aggregate to show what the breaking news is by showing user interaction via Retweets and Hashtags.

Another reason Twitter works so well is the fact that users divulge information far more freely than conventional means.

How do you get your news? Is Twitter your main resource or is it a combination of different factors?

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