I read a great post on the launch of a new page Facebook has launched called Journalists on Facebook. It is Facebook’s attempt to get more journalists using Facebook rather than Twitter but I have my reservations with this as an overall concept.
Firstly, I would like to point out that Facebook is brilliant at what it offers to a page admin because you can share a wider range of content with your likes/followers and you can get statistics from a page through its insights section. Add this to the recent upgrades for commenting on pages and the offer is much better than it once was.
Secondly, in Facebook you can also build up a relationship and encourage your community to get involved and help create something exciting around a particular topic. This has proved really successful for campaigns that need profile such as missing people etc. However, that said I still feel that Twitter is better for spreading news quickly. Why?
Twitter is completely focussed on being completely focussed. In other words its users post short tit bits of news and links that followers can then share quickly and efficiently.
Twitter users can share several updates during a day without annoying their followers. In fact, many people prefer it, Facebook Pages on the other hand should only really be updated around once or twice a day, depending on how you are managing the community. If you update a page too much you could find yourself losing likes. Worse still, your likes/fans (what do we call them these days?) could just hide your posts from their newsfeeds altogether because they see them as being too regular and intrusive. Because they see Facebook as a pleasure not business. So you feel like you are engaging with a huge wider audience when actually you are only communicating to yourself – sound familiar?
Now Facebook has a much bigger global audience, we all know that but I would ask “Are these users news hounds like those on Twitter?” because I don’t think they are. I think a lot of people on Facebook are on their to stay in touch with their families etc not to hear what’s happening in the mainstream news.
The Facebook page in question does have almost 40,000 likes, at the time of writing, so people do (pardon the pun) like it but do I see a time when people will get their news first from a page like this? Not really – the only way I think Facebook can do this is by widening how people can find this news and make it easier to receive regular news from pages without it being intrusive – possibly a new algorithm for the newsfeed for people like us newshounds. Another way to improve would be to create an easy to use application especially for journalists to use for news to get and share news.
I think these two channels have two very different audiences and are used for two very different purposes. What do you think? Can Twitter become the number one resource for news? I welcome your views.