Now with the advance of technology and the Internet, People basically abandoned the way of using traditional media to share information, such as newspapers and television. Conversely, Social media has become a part of people’s daily lives and it is the most preferred platform for people to share news. There are more and more social media to collect and share news from mainstream news sites (Ma, et al. 2014). Social media are web-based communication tools that allows people to interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information, such as Facebook, Twitter and Weibo (Nations, 2018). Originally, social media as a tool that people used to interact with friends and family Social media originated from the tools people used to interact with friends and family but it was later adopted by companies that wanted to use the popular new communication methods to reach customers. Moreover, the power of social media is to be able to connect and share information with anyone (or many people) on the planet, as long as they also use social media (Staff, 2018). Whether in daily life or on social media, when you see a funny thing or news, you will share it with your friends right away, because this will create a sense of satisfaction.
According to Dwyer & Martin(2017), Major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WeChat or Weibo are now one of the main ways people access and share mainstream news on a regular basis. Take facebook as an example, as of the second quarter of 2018, the number of active users per day in the world continues to increase. Not only that, More people will use social media in the next 11 years.
Number of daily active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2018 (in millions) https://www.statista.com/statistics/346167/facebook-global-dau/
Number of social network users worldwide from 2010 to 2021 (in billions)https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/
Curry(2016) argues that although social media is becoming more popular, its impact on political participation remains unclear. For example, United States presidential election, Most young people know more about elections from Facebook and Twitter, But social media is not as popular among voters 50 and older, they still rely mainly on television and other traditional news media to understand the election. Due to social media is very popular among young people, it can stimulate the enthusiasm of some people who are politically interested, so that they want to know more about politics news. In addition, no one can determine the authenticity of the news, which means that social media may be more likely to spread false information and manipulate voters.
One the other hand, social news sharing helps people learn more about international news. For instance, I learned one new in Chinese social software(Weibo) that Taylor Swift stated the mid-term election support for the Democratic Party. And Trump’s funny response: the love for Taylor music is reduced by 25%.
Trump responds to Taylor https://m.weibo.cn/status/4293125142318682?
News is seen as a social commodity that is produced and disseminated for adoption and consumption (Ma, et al. 2014), as well as different types of news stories may trigger different types of emotional expressions in social media, which may affect how people share and consume. When people sign up for a new account, some of the personal information you fill out will be entered into the social media software system. And when you use these social software to browse some news, such as entertainment, fashion, etc., the system will know your preferences and location, then push some relevant news. In here, the word “consumption” does not mean pay the money to the social media. Your sharing and playback volume can bring benefits to the company. Besides, GAFAM company creates market opportunities for more small companies that promote social media experiences, for example, the platform generates some revenue from the application programming interface (API). In order to develop its editorial strategy, companies also need to invest a lot of money as well (Dwyer&Martin, 2017).
Firstly, social media enhances the participation and interaction of individuals as collaborative communities that handle news. Community members communicate with each other through news content in various ways, such as sharing stories, posting comments, and participating in discussions (Lee&Ma, 2012). Secondly, the shared news story content is diversified and personalised based on the user’s interests. Social media also allows users to identify individuals with similar interests and connect with like-minded others. Thirdly, social media has expanded the scope of news sharing. As long as the story is still available online, individuals can participate in the news sharing process. With the global reach of social media, in theory, the sharing and discussion of news stories can be carried out on a global scale. Fourthly, A few influencers or celebrities, such as early adopters and opinion leaders, act as a bridge between the source and the public. For example, information flows from sources (such as mass media) to opinion leaders and then from opinion leaders to followers (Li&Sakamoto, 2014). They use their influence to let more people know about some news, usually their number of praises and forwarding reach millions or even tens of millions.
Who can get benefit from these effects?
News sharing behavior on social media shows great differences. Some users share news every day, while others never share. News organizations publish a large amount of news on social media every day, but only a few can get more sharing.
The use and satisfaction theory explains the media usage behavior of the listener from the perspective of psychological needs and social satisfaction, including the selection of specific media and content, and subsequent attitudes and behaviors. The theory holds that readers who choose media or content want to be satisfied with their own needs. Whether or not it is met, it will affect the behavior of the listener(Lee & Ma, 2012).
In addition, The emergence of social media has provided the public with a new platform for discourse expression. Content production and dissemination are no longer patents of official media reporters and editors. The new normal of social communication is the diversification of communication subjects, and everyone is a communicator. In the era of social media, the threshold for information dissemination and acceptance is reduced, and it is easy to learn. As long as there is a smart phone with basic literacy skills and willingness to express, you can spread your thoughts, feelings and experiences. To some extent, the audience has the active choice and the right to disseminate news information. The right of news communication is no longer monopolised by media organisations. Individuals and other social organisations have their own voice as the main body of communication, which promotes the transfer of the right to speak from the organisation to the individual and from the state to the society.
The only drawback is the process of sharing news with someone requires a third-party platform operation. At this time, our personal information cannot be guaranteed. Seriously it can threaten our personal safety, so we need a reliable service provider.
The most important thing for journalism is sharing can extend the reach of online news, creating traffic for citations of original publishing sites and stories (Dwyer&Martin, 2017). However, The content of social media news dissemination is mixed. As far as information sources are concerned, there are many sources of network information distribution. Especially in some major news events, Weibo and Twitter, with their unique advantages, often preempt the information release and become some traditional public. An important source of information for the media. As far as information channels are concerned, the sources of information that are unclear are through the small groups of social networks, which are intertwined and circulated in a circle, and in the process of dissemination, misunderstandings and variations occur due to various reasons. The involvement of some regular media, celebrities, etc., has increased the complexity of information. After the information has spread, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between authenticity and falsehood.
Ways to get news on social media include the following: pay attention to the account of news organizations or journalists; go to the news organization or journalist’s home page; send friends to yourself; and share news shared by friends when browsing social media. Meanwhile, social media can also promote the spread of unconfirmed messages, including those that were later found to be false(Li&Sakamoto, 2014).
Curry, K. (2016, September 30). More and more people get their news via social media. Is that good or bad? Retrieved October 12, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/09/30/more-and-more-people-get-their-news-via-social-media-is-that-good-or-bad/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.01d334d3ba0a
Dwyer, T & Martin, F (2017) Sharing News Online, Digital Journalism, 5:8, 1080-1100, DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2017.1338527
Lee, C.S., Ma, L. (2012). News sharing in social media: The effect of gratifications and prior experience. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(2), 331-339. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2011.10.002.
Li, H., & Sakamoto, Y. (2014). Social impacts in social media: An examination of perceived truthfulness and sharing of information. Computers in Human Behavior, 41, 278-287. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.08.009
Ma, L., Lee, C. S., & Goh, D. H. (2014). Understanding news sharing in social media. Online Information Review, 38(5), 598-615. doi:10.1108/oir-10-2013-0239
Nations, D. (2018, August 30). Serious Question: What Exactly Is Social Media? Retrieved October 12, 2018, from https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-social-media-explaining-the-big-trend-3486616
Staff, I. (2018, March 21). Social Media. Retrieved October 12, 2018, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-media.asp