On Twitter, news spreads fast.
How fast often depends on where the story breaks, and by whom. Social media has changed the way that news is shared and reported, but authority still carries an enormous amount of weight. Initially, we’re far more likely to (vitally) believe breaking news from a credible, established source than we are a friend-of-a-friend, which also increases the chances that we’ll reshare and link to that story ourselves.
There are layers of authority, too, even amongst the mainstream media. So, which organizations are the most viral sources of information?
Newswhip, a Dublin-based social networking tracking service, analyzed the sources of breaking news stories that received more than 100 mentions on Twitter and 100 Likes on Facebook in January. On Twitter, the BBC was the clear winner, with some 2,621 stories qualifying under the Newswhip criteria, ahead of The Guardian and Mashable. The Huffington Post led the way on Facebook (and by some distance), ahead of the BBC and The Guardian.
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