Breaking News

Organizations exist on the social web who solely to aggregate breaking news, one such entity is BreakingNews.com owned by MSNBC which has both a Facebook page and a Twitter feed.

Compared to The New York Times, Breaking News posted less to social media and those posts included fewer links. On Twitter, Breaking News posted 291 times during the five day period under examination and 206 of those posts included links, for a link rate of 70.8%. On Facebook, Breaking News posted 50 times with 18 links, a linking rate of 36%. Combined Breaking News posted to both platforms 341 times including 224 links for a link rate of 65.6%.

Breaking News is an aggregation service, re-posting content from around the web, attributing that content, and posting a link 65.6% of the time. One post on Twitter attributed to Reuters (although not @Reuters as was done to other posts) which received more than 101 retweets and included a link involved the death of Ahmad Wali Karzai: [blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/BreakingNews/statuses/90684434633850880"]

A similar story posted to Facebook at the same time resulted in a total of 17 engaged users. Breaking News posted different content to the two platforms. On Twitter, staff posted an attribution to Reuters and no link, and information within the tweet indicates that it was posted through the site BreakingNews.com. On Facebook, information provided in the update shows staff posted through a “breaking news” application and included a link to a story by AFP on Dawn.com.

Breaking News utilizes Google+ as third platform not yet used by The New York Times for reader engagement and sharing breaking news. Although the platform is only a few weeks old, Breaking News shared 28 items on the service in the examination period all of which contained a link, including a post listing other news organizations on Google+. A July 11, 2011 post appeared on both Twitter and Google+, but not Facebook. On Twitter the post contained only the text, the link, the attribution, and some information about who engaged with the post: [blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/BreakingNews/statuses/91285511322353665"]

On Google+ the same post included a link, a picture and more accessible information about who shared and commented on the post (including numbers) made possible by the design and functionality of the platform.

Reuters initial post of the story was shorter than the one posted by Breaking News, and included a different URL to the same story: [blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/Reuters/status/91284852271366144"]

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