Why Do People Share The News?

I sometimes have to ask myself why I share news online nearly everyday. What’s in it for me? Sharing on the web is one of the greatest phenomenons of our time, yet there is precious little scientific research available on this subject.

Bringing useful and entertaining content to others reaffirms my own commitments, helps me to understand complex issues, and it connects me to a like minded network. Sharing online is about building and maintaining relationships.

If I have just put a post together and I’m about to send it out to the world, there is a moments hesitation while I consider how I define myself and the quality of the content about to be shared. This process of quality control is increasing the distribution of valuable information.

The last hour of of Twitter sentiment about ‘oil’ (filtered out ‘palm,painting, coconut etc) — data courtesy of Blurrt

To get an idea of scale, in the last hour there have been 2,555 people generate 2,977 tweets about the oil industry with a potential reach of over 36m. Many of these tweets contain links to articles including comments and headlines. Sharing news content successfully is a skill that was once only the domain of journalists but is now becoming more common place with all professionals.

The last hour of of tweets about ‘oil’ (filtered out ‘palm,painting, coconut etc) — data courtesy of Blurrt

The question for some is how to harness the value of this information generated by industry experts on the web everyday? My Trading Buddy add links of current and relevant articles in their newspaper from their Educational Blog and Markets Analysis Magazine

Their audience are able to receive news from around the world affecting different markets, mixed with relevant links to a ‘Stocks pick of the Week’ or a ‘Forex Weekly Analysis Video’ or a ‘Weekly Technical Outlook for Oil’

I asked CEO and founder Paul Bratby what kind of engagement they were getting from Twitter and their online news service.

“We have over 5 million impressions on tweets each month with an engagement rate of nearly 1%, which is growing so as you can see this need to share is increasing, as long as the content is relevant to current market conditions and is useful.

Retail traders, especially, are always looking for information to give them an edge and a good news service is just one tool. Twitter has become one of the best social media platforms to share updates and my trading buddy uses it consistently to update on news, blog and markets analysis magazine content, whilst having a daily updated and permanent presence of our online newspaper. We are finding an increased number of users downloading our App that respond to push notifications about each new edition of the newspaper being produced. At some point we expect, as downloads continue to increase, that more users from the App will be viewing the newspaper of that from Twitter, as the open rate for Push notification is in excess of 45%.

Our motivation for sharing financial news is simple — we are growing a large community and use the newspaper as a way of keeping our community up to date with our content and top news stories affecting the markets. The people that then share our news and links to the newspaper and content are spreading the word to the greater financial community on twitter as it is current and useful information”

So far today I have shared a news article about a record breaking FinTech investment and retweeted an interesting story about how the British government is considering paying out research grants with Bitcoin. Looking back at these two instances I can see that I’m not only consuming what people send to me but also what I send out to others, giving the content a personalised context making it more engaging.