Social media news roundup: Facebook, Twitter becoming more and more mainstream

For its coverage of the fifth anniversary last week of Hurricane Katrina, streamed live and partnered with Facebook to allow users to comment in real time. Check out the 30-second clip below to see how it looked online.

The New York Times has placed a Facebook widget prominently at the top right of its homepage, adding to its existing social media tools. The Facebook module also appears at the top right of NYT story pages. The company offers a FAQ about its social media tools here, including addressing privacy issues.

Just as email did starting about 15 years ago, social media continues to become more integrated into people’s daily lives.

Among Web users 50 and older, use nearly doubled between April 2009 and May 2010, from 22 percent to 42 percent, the Pew Internet & American Life Project reports.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

And according to the latest Nielsen research: “On average, U.S. Internet users spend almost 25 percent of their time online using social networking sites and blogs, a 16 percent growth from the same time last year.

“Facebook is the main reason this activity is growing, the Los Angeles Times reported. Of all social networking use, Facebook took 85 percent, while News Corp.-owned MySpace was next, with just 5 percent. Twitter claimed a 1 percent share.”

Facebook has rolled out Facebook Places, its new location check-in feature, its Foursquare/Gowalla competitor which is available via mobile device.

Facebook explains: “Places is a Facebook feature that allows you to see where your friends are and share your location in the real world. When you use Places, you’ll be able to see if any of your friends are currently checked in nearby and connect with them easily.

“You can check into nearby Places to tell your friends where you are, tag your friends in the Places you visit, and view comments your friends have made about the Places you visit.”

Learn more about Facebook Places here. If you’re concerned about privacy and want to disable it on your personal account, learn how here.

Many journalists have long noticed that news stories tend to break on Twitter hours or even days earlier than mainstream media outlets pick them up.

Here’s an unusual example of that trend: A journalist who wrote an entire story via tweets on a $131 million verdict against Ford – and grew increasingly flabbergasted that no major news outlets were picking up the story.


It was also on Twitter, The Washington Post reports, that last week’s news (and disturbing photos) about Discovery Channel gunman James Lee first broke.

And a couple more interesting Web journalism news items:

USA Today‘s newsroom is being restructured to shift the focus away from print and toward mobile.

Attention bloggers: NPR’s Argo blog has great insights on how to blog well, including frequency of posting, coming up with subjects, easy ways to illustrate your posts with copyright-friendly images and more.


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