According to atinternet-institute.com, "social networks are at the heart of breaking news," but a recent study showed that news is looked at more when on Facebook. The study found that Facebook accounts holders French news Web sites one time out of one hundred, which is 13 times more than with Twitter. The twelve leading French news Web sites were looked at for this study.
Plus, "for overall traffic, after all different traffic sources have been considered for French news Web sites, the average share of Facebook as a referrer was 1.3 percent from the 6th to the 12th September 2010 and only 0.1 percent for Twitter," according to the study.
Also, when taking the same amount of Web sites into consideration, Google's share was 40.6 in France, or 30 times more than Facebook. Even though this is high, people should remember that the main function of search engines like Google are to suggest user links, while Facebook does not do so. Facebook had more 1.3 percent more traffic than Bing, Microsoft's search engine, however.
"Considering the high number of different traffic sources available on the Internet, Facebook is well-placed and is experiencing an upward trend," said to the article. Furthermore, "the average share of Facebook as a referrer doubled since March 2010."
Recently Nick Denton, head of Gawker Media, was dismissive Twitter as a good place for news because audience is "closed, elite and not mainstream enough." He argued Facebook is better because it can "send a post's traffic up five-fold" and that stories are more personal and the reading experience more "intimate."
However, the Guardian focused on the strengths of Twitter that no other new media source can currently provide. Despite the fact that Twitter only has 145 million users while Facebook is the leader of social networks with over 500 million users, the Guardian article argued that Twitter is ultimately more useful for the media. "For people in the media business, [Twitter] has rapidly - in less than four years - become their peripheral nervous system," said journalist Charles Arthur. "It tells you what's going on around the world, or within your sphere of interest; it helps for bouncing ideas around, for staying abreast of what you have to know."
Which social media site will emerge as leader in directing traffic? And how should news organisations manage their different efforts on each one>