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Online news on Twitter: Newspapers’ social media adoption and their online readership

Sounman Hong

Information Economics and Policy, 2012, vol. 24, issue 1, 69-74

Abstract: Many news organizations have recognized the potential of social media as a journalistic tool and have used social media marketing to attract online audiences. The aim of this study is to understand the implications of news organizations’ adoption of social media sites through (1) an examination of the relationship between news organizations’ adoption of social media and their online readership and (2) a comparison of online traffic generated by social media sites with that generated by other online media institutions. Evidence suggests that newspapers’ adoption of social media is positively associated with an increase in their online readership, and this association increases in the size of the newspapers’ social media networks (e.g., number of Twitter followers). Evidence also suggests that the association between newspapers’ social media adoption and their online traffic may differ compared to the association between other online media institutions and the online traffic they generated. A descriptive analysis shows that the online traffic generated by social media sites is less concentrated than that generated by search engines or news aggregators; this can be explained by the fact that social media sites might be less susceptible to information cascades, compared to search engines or news aggregators.

Keywords: Social media; Twitter; Facebook; Online news; Digital media; Information cascades; Information economics; Media economics; Online media institution; Aggregator; Search engine (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D80 D83 L82 L86 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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