Christine Larouere

The Continuous Rise of Social Media

Photo courtesy of Color Fire
Photo courtesy of Color Fire

by Christine Larouere

After reading Pew Research’s “Social Media Usage 2005-2015” and FastCompany’s “The Biggest Challenges Facing the News Industry in 2016,” it really opened my eyes to the fact that there will always be an upward climb towards social media and innovation. The media industry is constantly evolving, and these reports prove that society wants to be able to keep up.

When you think about the past, many people thought programs like Facebook and Twitter were just fads that millennials were using to post everything about their lives. Now, they have turned into catalysts for releasing some of the world’s most important information. In the report from 2005-2015, it stated that American adults have increased their usage by 7 percent. While I was not surprised by this, I couldn’t help but wonder what age groups are using social media the most. I looked for additional social media information and found that a surprising amount of adults have now been added onto social networking sites.

According to Pew Research’s “Social Media Use by Age Group Over Time,” adults ages 65 and up have increased their usage by 49 percent in 2014. I was very happy to see this statistic because the general population assumes that young people are the only ones who use social media. This data proves that older adults are understanding how imperative it is to keep up with these kinds of programs to get the most recent news.

In the “Biggest Challenges Facing the News Industry in 2016” article, FastCompany interviewed a number journalists and media thinkers about the year ahead. The most interesting insight, to me, came from Rebecca Davis, a video journalist from NBC News. She talked about creating content that keep people on their news site and how to develop content that will keep them coming back to that same site.

Davis said original reporting needs to be captivating to hold onto viewers and convince them to keep coming back for more. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, the first 10 seconds of being on a web page is the most important time to attract your user. In addition, it says that it can take 10 to 12 seconds to leave a web page. After being in college for the past four years, all of my professors have made the important point to make whatever your writing immediately hook your reader. If it isn’t good enough, they will stop find that content elsewhere.

I felt that Davis’ point of view made it very apparent that overall, news organizations need to keep finding way to stay relevant. There are many programs that increase competition, but journalists should stay focused on presenting information that represents them and their organization.

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