Obama was not the only winner on Election Night. Twitter was celebrating with more than thirty-one million election-related tweets on Tuesday night, making Election Night “the most tweeted about event in U.S. political history,” said Twitter spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz.
According to SiliconANGLE News Desk Editor Kristen Nicole, the real-time capabilities of Twitter is what makes it such an important platform during a huge event, such as the election. She said, “It’s one of the most efficient ways to communicate across the board because it has tie-ins with mobile where you don’t necessarily need an internet connection to interact with it. There are more capabilities evolving around Twitter, as a platform, as a mobile tool, as a web tool. It shows how Twitter is growing as a platform and how it becomes a really important way for event-based occurrences to really disseminate across the public.”
Social media websites are taking priority for finding breaking news over the traditional media channels. Many top news stories are kept alive or thrust into the headlines after becoming hot topics on Twitter. Kristen said, “I think the traditional news industry has been looking for ways to leverage Twitter, and a lot of organizations have done well with that.” The past few years have been very important in terms of real-time analysis, big data analysis, finding more ways to filter that information and really tap into what the public wants. She noted that this is one of those opportunities never seen before in history, where we’re really able to gauge what the public is interested in. It’s a mix of curation and real-time analytics, as well as incorporating better algorithms and systems to find the best information that’s being shared through Twitter. Using that formula, we’re seeing trends around data journalism that will continue to be important moving foward.
Twitter was also breaking records during Hurricane Sandy, reflecting the fact that Twitter is effectively being used as a tool for national aid. Kristen believes Twitter definitely has the potential to be used as an emergency alert system. This is something organizations have been looking at almost as long as Twitter’s existence. Now that Twitter is becoming such a standardized messaging platform we’re going to see similar integrations into emergency use. Many organizations are already using Twitter as such a platform and for Twitter to be able to recognize the contextualization of their platform in that regard is only going to empower them further.
One feature that is standing out more and more in the use of social media is search capabilities – the more data Twitter has to work with, the better it can leverage that information. Google has found a great way to incorporate user activity and search behavior to provide a service to the public. The faster Twitter can contextualize that type of information, the better it will be for their platform. See the whole segment with Kristin Feledy and Kristen Nicole on the Morning NewsDesk show.