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In today’s social media era, it is undeniable that the majority of the population owns a mobile phone and has installed the popular application “Twitter.”

According to a new Pew Research study, Twitter is the most common platform that U.S. journalists use for their jobs. Twitter also has approximately 450 million monthly active users as of 2022, which is 396 million more than in 2010. Since 2018, the platform’s audience has grown by more than 40%.

The purpose of Twitter

The primary purpose of Twitter is to allow and connect its users to share their thoughts with their followers through hashtags. From the Earthweb, the average number of hashtags per day on Twitter is approximately 125 million. The statistic as stated shows how popular Twitter is currently.

The advantage of Twitter

The advantages that Twitter has over other social media platforms are the following:

1. Twitter provides real-time information on various topics, including breaking news, events, and trends, making it arguably where news blows up the fastest. Twitter’s fast-paced nature understands the heart of social media, being a platform that embraces sharability.

2. Twitter has a broad reach: There is a global reach with over 330 million active users, allowing individuals and businesses to connect with people worldwide.

3. The uniqueness of having a word limit secondarily pushes for incisive communication: Twitter has a word limit of 280 characters per tweet. It forces users to be concise and to the point, making it easier to communicate ideas quickly and effectively.

4. Twitter makes it easy to network: Users can easily connect with like-minded individuals, businesses, and organizations by using networking features on Twitter. Having a feed that feels customized for you inspires the user to revisit more often, as they think it is comfortable and feels familiar.

5. Twitter analytics tools enable companies and individuals to measure the effectiveness of their tweets as well as track engagement and reach. In business, this is an efficient way to study your audience and see what marketing decisions the brand could make.

Twitter’s real-time updates, customizable news feed, diverse perspectives, simple sharing features, and interactive engagement are its perks. Twitter suits fast-paced consumerism, making it an appealing news consumption platform, especially for Generation Z.

Journalist account on Twitter

One of the most significant advantages of Twitter for business is the ability to quickly share information and initiate conversations with your target audience. As a result, your audience will find your Tweets and content useful and, ideally, will share it with their followers. Consequently, journalists’ accounts on Twitter use those benefits to share their opinions freely through the Twitter platform. For example, journalists’ accounts on Twitter have: @maddow 10.4 million followers, @maggieNYT 1.6 million followers, @nycjim 206,400 followers, and @nytimes 54.9 million followers.

Famous Thai Journalist account on Twitter

Not only U.S. journalists turn to utilize more twitter to share the news and information. Besides, many Thai journalists use the area on twitter as a primary platform to spread their opinions and communicate with their followers openly such as Thai journalists accounts on Twitter : @robloakbykaruna 9,000 followers, @Kitti3Miti 1.9 million followers, @suthichai 3.1 millions followers, @parisjpt 43,800 followers, @jomquan 1.3 million followers and @thapanee3miti 1 million followers.

Generation gap

In accordance with digital media trends, surveys inform us that teens may be at the forefront of a long-term shift in news consumption, with Gen Z consumers leading the way. Mobile devices, news alerts and notifications, and social media feeds play an important role in keeping young people informed about social issues and current events. 

Gen Z: 11 to 26 year-olds; Millennials: 27 to 42 year-olds; and Gen X: 43 to 58 year-olds.

Gen Z teens prefer social and digital news platforms, with roughly half reporting that they get news daily from social media feeds or messaging services, and 40% reporting that they get news daily from search engines. These sources have the potential to provide more interactive, and engaging news experiences than traditional sources such as television news, radio news, or newspapers.

In fact, mobile phones or tablet devices allow this engagement and provide young people with access to news and information. The statistics illustrate 66% of Gen Z teens who follow news or current events say they get the majority of the news from alerts and notifications on their mobile devices, in comparison to 55% of Gen X that graph shows a greater number of main platform they consume the news which is from the Television news as a preponderance.

How we consume news on traditional media is different from how we consume news on Twitter.

The way we consume news on official news websites and Twitter are two very different things. In the internet era, it’s unnecessary to await the reporter or the author of traditional media such as newspaper, radio, television and magazine to provide information to us. Technology has led us to the new way of consuming news, which is digital platforms. The official news that is announced on the traditional media has the strength to deliver the message with high frequency through the reporter and high mass audience coverage which effortless to access brings about to vastly impact. In spite of that, the weakness is the limited airtime of each category news : political news, entertainment news, sport news or crime news, numerous advertising, short life span, message expires immediately and high channel switching. On the other hand, the Twitter has the real time information minute per minute, rapidly spread a message, has an search engine to observe any argument to discuss, communicate with same group of interest or celebrities, categorize the current issue or community along the hashtag, also Twitter will always has a trends for you to keep an eye on for current issue and express your viewpoint with other. 

The graph shows increasing of Twitter user growth from 2010 to 2021

The graph shows TV Ratings : Cable News Drops During First 100 days of Biden

Censorship

The one crucial reason for the large contrast between official news and Twitter news is censorship. In general, censorship is the suppression of information or a restriction on the dissemination of ideas throughout society imposed by a powerful party. Censorship of content may be established by a government, private groups such as church groups, and public speakers for a variety of reasons, which include criticism, differing political or religious ideas, violence, or other explicit content. The many forms of traditional media including television, radio, film and photography can be censored by a party with legal power. Furthermore, One of the most widely used platforms for censorship has been television. However, there is some censorship on Twitter as well which is unlike the censorship on television. Sensitive content that excessively gory or share violent or adult content are not permitted on Twitter while television conceals the audience from the work process of government, the citizens voice and the corruption of authoritarianism. 

Case study : #Preawa9lives (แพรวา9ศพ)

On December 27th, 2010, a 16-year-old woman named Preawa, drove her Honda Civic into the back of a van on the elevated Don Muang highway in Bangkok. The van tumbled over the safety barrier at the edge of the road, and passengers were violently thrown from the vehicle, which landed on the concrete several meters below the road above. Nine people lost their lives that night because Preawa was preoccupied with her mobile phone. Since 2010, the victims’ families have demanded Preawa’s accountability and compensation. This news is such an example of the wealthy never admitting their mistakes, and the media didn’t continuously report to the audience about Preawa’s case. 

Until 2022, “Girl from Nowhere” has been published on Netflix. Afterward, the hashtag #Preawa9lives became the trend through Twitter again, the victims’ families say that During 12 years, they are still waiting for the justice and compensation from Praewa. And most of the users on Twitter assisted the victims’ families by insisting on Praewa’s responsibility. Even though time passed over 12 years, Preawa didn’t receive any punishment, and she had begun her new life with a new name that she changed.

Why do people prefer to consume news on Twitter rather than official news?

In conclusion, there are several reasons why people prefer to consume news on Twitter rather than traditional news sources such as newspapers, television, radio, or magazines.

Twitter provides real-time updates on breaking news, so users can get the most up-to-date information as it happens. It is effortless to share: Twitter’s sharing features enable users to easily share news articles and stories with their followers, allowing data to spread quickly and effectively. The nature of retweeting is to create a fast-paced environment, resulting in quick virality. Twitter provides users access to diverse news sources and national and international news outlets, allowing them to gain various perspectives on current affairs. On the other hand, anonymity neutralizes influence and allows fruitful discussion about the impact of the existing persona. Learning new world views, seeing other people’s thoughts, and exchanging them is exciting and engaging. Being an interactive engagement platform, Twitter allows users to interact with the news and other users by commenting, retweeting, and sharing their thoughts on current events. Finding the different ends of any argument on Twitter is relatively easy, and arguing with them is even easier.

Being an algorithm-based platform, Twitter caters to your preferences. Users can customize their Twitter feed by following accounts that correspond to their interests and interacting with the content they enjoy. Updates and news that are precisely relevant to each user or even their niche interests create loyalty and entice the user to come back to this platform.

Twitter is preferred, as it is accessible from anywhere and by everyone. Twitter is widely accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easier for people to stay current on current issues. A simple, intuitive interface and accessible features allow Twitter to truly be for all. Unlike a newspaper, which can be difficult to read with impaired eyes, or a TV program without a sign interpreter, there are always accessible features on mobile platforms like Twitter itself. Additionally, Twitter is a free platform; users can receive news and information without paying for a subscription. The way Twitter implements advertisements is also seamless and does not deter the app’s usage.

Which platform do you usually use to consume the news?

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