Social media, since its inception has moved faster than most other forms of media journalists have encountered. It started with sites like Myspace and evolved to close to a dozen different social media websites within just a few years. Social media caught on fast with the younger generation and journalists quickly sought to utilize the technology in as many ways they could.
Unfortunately, many of the benefits to social media weren’t as clearly evident in the beginning. Social media was known as many to be a time waster and not necessarily considered something productive. As time passed more uses for these sites became obvious to users. Facebook wasn’t just a great procrastination tool for the college student but also a great site for grandma to post pictures of her grand-kids for the whole family to see. Journalists began using Twitter to open the dialogue between them and their viewers. Viewers across the country could “Tweet” in their questions to CNN anchors. This brought a whole new dimension of interaction between journalists and their readers. News was more up to date but was shortened to 160 characters, something more digestible to the reader.
As time passes social media sites have proven to be more and more popular. Opening up companies to new possibilities. Social media sites like Facebook allow companies to interact directly with their consumers in a more personal way than they had been able to do in years. All because of social media direct marketing online has seen a huge boom. Issues about personal privacy and tracking information online have also come to the forefront, an issue many are greatly concerned with. If weighed out I think many would consider social media’s benefits over the risks. For journalists, social media has become an important tool in reaching out to readers.