'Social News' on the Internet

A brief intro to how the news is getting a lot more social online

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An increasing number of people are getting their news fixes by turning to what some refer to as "social news." as a way to separate As you might have already guessed, social news is separate from the more traditional news sources, happens entirely online and is reliant on social media.

A Brief Explanation of Social News

Social news is a much more personalized form of news consumption, delivered on a central platform (like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.) according to how users engage with news stories from various sources. Unlike traditional sources of news (like television, radio and newspapers), there's influential activity happening on both the news provider's end and the user's end.

One of the other big differences between social news platforms and traditional news platforms is that social news platforms act as a central hub for news stories from various other third-party sources, possibly featuring stories from your friends, your relatives, brands you like, popular blogs, unpopular websites, YouTube, advertisers and more.

With traditional news sources, there really isn't any significant way that users can engage with the content so that they can influence the stories they see. Social news sources, however, show news stories based on how users interact with them (by voting, liking, commenting, sharing, etc.). This creates a much more targeted and personalized news consumption experience for users.

Social news is also instant news. You might have to wait around for the six o'clock news to come on TV, but with a social news delivery platform like Facebook or Flipboard, you can log on right away to see what's going on right now—even as news breaks!

Features of Social News Platforms

All it often takes is a quick glance at your Facebook news feed or Twitter feed to get caught up with what's going on in the world. The friends and brands you follow will surely be sharing information based on current events.

You can follow trending topics and hashtags on social networks to find popular and recent news. Both Facebook and Twitter have sections that update trending news stories, keywords, and hashtags in real-time. On Facebook, posts that show in the news feed might change dramatically according to what's buzzing on the web. Similarly, Twitter has a "Trends" section for hashtags and keywords based on what's being tweeted worldwide or locally.

Many sites have boards where stories are voted on by users for accuracy and popularity. Sites like Reddit, Digg, Hacker News, and Product Hunt all thrive on a voting system where users have the opportunity to vote up stories to push them up in popularity or vote them down to push them toward the bottom. 

Comment platforms on blogs even have somewhat of a social news component to them—especially those that allow users to upvote or downvote comments and also reply to other comments as a way to have a conversation. Blogs are generally less interactive than social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but many would still agree that they still fall under the "social media" category.