Twitter seems to be made for breaking news. Its 140-character capacity models how reporters release information updates in short, punctuated bursts. The hash-tagging system is ideal to track and update breaking news for the mobile consumer. Historically, the platform has facilitated breaking news updates.
However, a recent study by the Associated Press and CNBC suggests Twitter users are not flocking to the site to consume breaking news. Only 16 percent of users say they turn to Twitter frequently for breaking news, the study, released today, says. About 44 percent of users do at least some of the time, a bleak forecast for current events aficionados praising the platform's potential to revolutionize the news consumption process.
The study is a reminder that news consumption on Twitter is constantly evolving. Media analysts must reconsider the question, "Is Twitter the future of breaking of news?" Recent data show the gap between the platform's potential and the reality is still wide. With over 500 million tweets published daily, almost 40 percent of users use the site as "a curated news feed of updates that reflect their passions." Users can customize what they want to see and breaking news may be lost in the mix.
This raises an inevitable question: How can journalists use Twitter to break news more effectively? Part of the answer lies in helping users see the platform as a breaking news source. Journalists can also utilize the latest trends and Twitter analytics to understand how users consume and engage with information on the site. It seems foolish to allow this platform to go untapped.
Graphic by: AP, CNBC