Social Media: The New Age of Publication

I recently read the article “A wave of distributed content is coming- will publishers sink of swim,” by Joshua Benton. The article discusses how publishers are reaching an age of technology that puts them in a bind. Social media is on the forefront of taking over independent sites considering its huge audience and easy accessibility. The discouragement of links on these platforms has become more prevalent and some may be forced to adjust to the times and throw away past ideas of “independence”.

New Age of Publication Through Social Media

In the past decade the internet has changed substantially and all signs point to no stagnancy in the next ten. Independent websites and URL’s are becoming more and more of a dinosaur to this technological age.

According to Benton, “Of every hour the average american spends on his or her smartphone, only about 7 minutes are spent in the web browser.” The majority of users are spending most of their times within the apps themselves versus actually visiting a company’s website. With that being said many businesses have abandoned their old ways and conformed to the social media takeover.

For instance, NowThis, a well recognized video news outlet decided that they were having more success streaming straight to Facebook instead of linking back to their own site. Their VP of social media stated, “We were having an easier time getting people to consume our video if it was placed in-feed, rather than linking them back our website.”

Some social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram don’t allow links unless it’s an ad. Facebook is not under that category however it has encouraged publishers to use their platform to directly push their content. “We want to try and make that a better experience for publishers,” its chief product officer said in February.

Is Journalism Dead?

This new age of publishing is almost forcing conformity to the strongly independent. Building your legacy on someone else’s platform sounds disheartening, however it is the age we live in.

The future of journalism and the industry itself is not dead. People will continue to want to hear others opinions and thoughts on whatever topic you can think of. However the medium of how that information gets out will morph as the years go.

Journalism is not dead, but change is imminent in this technology crazed world. Those who do not roll with the punches delivered from the ultra popular social media god will get lost and forgotten in the large cluster of information we call the internet.

For Better or Worse

In regards to if this new age of media is good or bad, well that lies in the eyes of the beholder. For those strong independents who want to come up by their own and push out media the way only they want, this could be disheartening.

Fear not, media will continue to be pushed out regardless of the time. Conformity is always a choice, but success is as well. The fact of the matter is that social media is the biggest platform to market yourself or business today. The overall concept of social media I personally don’t see that changing any time soon.

At this point in media and publication, users and businesses would be ignorant not to take full advantage of the widespread audience that social media platforms reach. Times are changing and in turn businesses and companies will have to do the same.