Friday, February 5, 2010

Facebook is making us the gatekeepers

In PR, we have traditionally referred to the mainstream media as "gatekeepers;" since they controlled the most credible mass media, they decided which information was communicated to mass audiences, and in what way.

Now, Brand Republic is reporting this week, Facebook may be turning the tables.

Research by Hitwise suggests that Facebook has become the fourth-largest distributor of online news content, behind Google, Yahoo! and MSN.

That means that, increasingly, we are deciding what news to read online based on what our friends recommend. Our friends -- and we, to our own followers -- are becoming the gatekeepers who determine which news outlets get the audience.

Given the competition mainstream media are facing from online sources, they need readers/listeners/viewers now more than ever; and, if Hitwise's findings suggest a trend that will keep growing, social media users will play a major role in determining which ones survive.

Feeling empowered?

1 comment:

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