Twitter Not the Ultimate News Source for the Masses

November 6, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

If you thought that Twitter is the new place to fish out all your news from, and have said good-bye to other news gathering sources like television and print, chances are that you are a minority.

Research Centre Pew has released their new study, and it says that only 16 percent of the adult population in the US feed their appetite for news through Twitter.

In order to arrive at this conclusion, Pewt interviewed more than 5000 US adults. Of them, 736 were Twitter users and 3268 were Facebook freaks. What they did was that, they speculated Twitter conversations surrounding major news events.

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Their observations  stated that while Twitter does not have a huge chunk of users, it does have ardent followers who are mostly young, educated and rich.

The study also suggests that nearly half of the population who consumes news from Twitter is aged between 18 and 29. Of these, 40 percent hold at least a bachelor’s degree, while 48 percent earn more than $75,000 every year. In addition, these ardent Twitterati tends to be more mobile than other US users.

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Eighty five percent of them consumed Twitter news through their smartphones or tablets. To analyze how the consumption of news through Twitter happens, Pew studied the Twitter conversations around ten major news events like opening of the summer Olympics, Conn. School Shootings and the Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriages.

Studying this, Pew found three interesting themes . One, the central role of Twitter is to pass the story along to the users as it develops. Two, it displays how our sentiments on the news evolve and three, the sentiments that are shown on Twitter often do not reflect what the general population feels about the same.

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As Twitter is getting ready for its first public offering this month, the users’ experience on the site will certainly change. Once it goes public, it will be necessary for it to balance between serving people by keeping them happy and pleasing Wall Street as well.

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