Can you remember an age when you couldn’t get reliable, instant access to news and trending events in the palm of your hand? Mobile platforms have made information so readily accessible no matter where we are that it’s hard to think of a time when this was an alien concept to us.
You may have learned about the death of Princess Diana, for instance, on the early morning TV news, and if you didn’t have access to a TV, perhaps the first you heard of it was on the radio or in the newspaper.
Something of this magnitude in 2017 would likely play out first of all across social media, with rolling live updates readily available on our smartphone or tablet.
Twitter: A World of Instant Reaction
Speaking of social media, perhaps the best example of a service giving access to live news is Twitter, a platform that has changed the way we connect and interact with others like never before. Whether it’s Donald Trump using Twitter to bypass the media in the US, sports players giving their instant reaction to a game, or the spread of a global event thanks to a catchy hashtag, we’re now readily bombarded with images, news and real-life stories in real time.
Users still go to mobile news apps like BBC News to find out facts, but it’s the personal touches and the ability to connect with people that has become a really unique feature to Twitter and other social platforms, changing the way we interact with, and react to breaking news.
Social Stories: Making the News Personal
The way in which we now receive news has been dramatically altered by mobile platforms, but so has the type of news we now deem it normal to receive.
With the growing popularity of social platforms on mobile has come the growing popularity of social stories, with personal glimpses into big news items giving us a unique perspective on what’s going on. Take the example of 92-year-old Elmer Sherwin described on 32Red’s blog on big winners and how they spent it. Elmer not only hit the jackpot once on the MegaBucks, but won it again four years later, earning himself a total of around $25 million! This is the sort of story we love to read, and love to discuss.
In fact, following on from the news story on the 32Red site, a very quick Twitter search for Elmer’s name results in a real flurry of activity surrounding the news story, with individuals and corporate accounts from the likes of Poker Italia reacting positively to his astounding double stroke of luck.
On the other side of the coin, social platforms have brought the stories of those in less fortunate situations to light. One example you may remember is the story of Bana Alabed. Bana used social media to great effect to show the struggles of children in Syria, and whilst the news she brought us was also being reported on a grander scale by the likes of Reuters and the AP, Bana’s story had an emotional impact upon us that these reports simply couldn’t achieve.
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) February 3, 2017
Some of the news brought to us today on mobile platforms can be derided as “fluffy”. However, there is no doubting that the immediacy of the social platforms that have evolved so significantly since the advent of the mobile generation has been a positive thing.
We can still rely on our traditional news sources and enjoy reading a physical newspaper, but the chance to get news from different sources has brought us a gift of knowledge that we didn’t have access to in a world before mobile.