The social networking world, one of the biggest sub-populations of the worldwide web, is breaking new ground with its fast-catching user attention throughout the Internet, that of breaking news.
Tech networks Monday reported that something might be afoot in the social networking world, particularly for the top micro-blogging social networking site—Twitter.
A recent Pew Research Center study showed that while only less than 10% of Twitter users get their news from the site, some serious users of the network have been able to report significant breaking news through Twitter, providing fellow users their first ever view of unfolding news events.
Researchers, like tech observer Fox Van Allen, pointed out that news on the US Seal raid in Pakistan last year, which killed Al Qaeda founder and leader Osama bin Laden first appeared –inadvertently–via a Twitter blog. A Twitter blog was also known to have been the very first to report the recent death of singer Whitney Houston in California.
The Pew study indicated that Internet users who rely on news websites far outnumber news bloggers, with some 36% visiting news sites, compared to the 9% who look to Twitter for news.
Van Allen pointed out that while there could be an increasing focus on social networks, like Twitter, for something like breaking news, the movement may not be as fast as may be expected considering that social networks have their own set of priorities, the same way that news sites have their own. Moreover, the known fact that certain ‘news’ events reported on social networking sites often don’t pan out as factual.