The New York Times on Social News: Social Media Week NYC

February 21st, 2013 by Juliana

(2) Social Media Week New York

Social News according to The New York Times

On Tuesday afternoon I attended Social News, a Social Media Week NYC session hosted by The New York Times on their readers' behavior, social media sharing, and news consumption. The session featured data from over 3000 online interviews that The New York Times conducted with readers about their news consumption habits, particularly how readers consume and share news via social channels. Lucy Wood, Senior Manager of The Times's Customer Insights Group, and Cynthia Collins, Director of Social Media Marketing for NYTimes.com, spoke about the survey's data reflecting the practices of social media news sharers – The Times's looked at everything from the exact times of day news consumers are using specific devices to what qualities they associate with each type of media platform. Collins mentioned how researching social media news sharer behavior provides useful guidance for aspects of their online audience development strategy. The survey's detailed data reflects the value of understanding social sharers – how they consume content, what content they share, what their go-to news sources are – so you can make your content friendlier for this specific kind of news consumer.

Cool tidbits from the Social News session:

  • Social media users have a broader definition of what content constitutes "news" – e.g. celebrity gossip shared on Twitter.
  • Social media news sharing happens later in the day than general news consumption.
  • Television remains the primary source for breaking news stories. A majority of people follow breaking news stories on a second source (besides TV), and half of these users switch platforms (so, computer to mobile, tablet to laptop).
  • More news consumers turn to established news sources (like NYTimes.com) for breaking news rather than web-native news sites.
The Chartteam is stopping by Social Media Week 2013 NYC sessions all week – stay tuned for more updates from Chartbeat!