Social Media Needs Shift with Digital Platform Expectations

July 1, 2016

4:00 pm

Social media, like the rest of tech, is constantly evolving to better fit user trends and market demand. But even as the market continues to change, the tools that already exist can remain useful to the shifting digital landscape. And when it comes to social media – which has become somewhat of a mainstay within tech culture as we know it today – it’s even more crucial that we’re able to better adapt it to what users need and are responding to. But is social media able to adapt that much?

In a report conducted by the Reuters Institute and Tow Center for Digital Journalism, research has been conducted on the ways that social media has impacted users, and how they can continue to remain relevant, even as the industry shifts. Noting user trends on social media across 26 countries, the report writes that “we see a common picture of job losses, cost-cutting, and missed targets as falling print revenues combine with the brutal economics of digital in a perfect storm. Almost everywhere we see the further adoption of online platforms and devices for news – largely as a supplement to broadcast but often at the expense of print.”

Social Media’s Adapting User Relevancy

Social media’s relevancy is largely depicted through its usefulness to give users access to the world around them – particularly with current events and news sharing. While a large percentage (51 percent) said that they got their news through social media, the platforms used also varied amongst demographics. For example, women and young users were found to be more likely to go on social media rather than a direct news site. Users still largely expect access to current events and important news that they get through social media to be free, despite the hardship that some digital organizations are finding themselves in with producing accessible, free content.

Social media’s relevancy shouldn’t be in jeopardy because, when it comes down to it, these platforms are central to how we navigate our online lives. From entertainment to news, it’s important that we have social media platforms to continue expanding these innovations and methods of communication on. The shift away from traditional platforms and the increase reliance on social media to remain connected aren’t accidents – they are deliberate pushes towards creating more connectivity amongst users.

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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to cameron@tech.co or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.

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