Why Twitter’s concerns are journalists’ concerns

As investors wonder what's next for Twitter, journalists are also wondering the same thing. (Image: Flickr user Anthony Quintano under CC)

As investors wonder what’s next for Twitter, journalists are also wondering the same thing. (Image: Flickr user Anthony Quintano under CC)

Twitter earlier Tuesday released its second quarter earnings. While analyst expectations for revenue were beaten, the issue that interim chief executive Jack Dorsey faces continues to be that of user growth.

The number of active users went up to 304 million compared to 302 million last quarter, but including access to the social network via messenger services like SMS, the number was 316 million, compared to 308 million last quarter, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Journalists represent a large number of the active monthly users on Twitter, and as speculation continues on whether Dorsey can ensure investors that it is on the right track, Dorsey must also convince, albeit indirectly, journalists whether Twitter is still a worthwhile platform for a social strategy.

At the core of Twitter remains the live wire element of news and information, no matter the subject, be it world affairs, sports, or that new collaboration between British electronic duo Disclosure and Grammy award winning singer Sam Smith. Many users flock to it to keep up with the events of the day, and as journalists, it has changed how we think about engaging with our audiences, and also the idea of storytelling and communication in the digital age.

Twitter has become the heart of a newsroom’s social strategy, giving organizations large and small the opportunity to develop new ways to tell stories through app integration and the 140 character bite size snapshots of the world. As the days and months proceed, Jack Dorsey must try to keep the users of Twitter happy, and that includes journalists.

One small change may make a huge difference in how Twitter can be used. It can be positive, or it can be negative. Twitter has changed journalism for the better, and helped it advance in the social age. The ball is now in Dorsey’s court to ensure that will continue.

Alex Veeneman, a Chicago based SPJ member and founder of SPJ Digital, is a contributing blogger to Net Worked and SPJ’s community coordinator. He is also Co-Student Life editor and media correspondent for Kettle Magazine, an online publication in the UK. You can interact with Veeneman on Twitter here.

The views expressed in this blog post are that of the author’s unless otherwise indicated, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SPJ Digital executive, the board and staff of the Society of Professional Journalists, or its members.


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