Facebook as a news source.
We all know that Facebook is a great source of social communication and coordination. For ten years I have used it to privately chat with friends, plan birthday parties, view family photos and just generally stay in touch with people who I would not otherwise see.
However, recently, I have found a new use for Facebook – as an important source of news. And no, I don’t just mean news about who had what for breakfast and who was checked in at Capitol at 2.00 am last night. I mean real news!!
What I did was start “Liking” news media Pages. When you Like a Page, their posts appear in your newsfeed (along with posts from your friends). These posts generally comprise of a headline, a short summary of the story, a photo and a link. That link takes you to that news organisation’s proper website, where you will find the full news article.
Now, of course there is nothing stopping you cutting out the middle man here and going straight to that website yourself to read the news. But what the Facebook middle man does is bring the news to you. My life is very busy at the moment, and unfortunately I do not always have time to sit down and read the newspaper, watch the 7.00pm news or even go to that news site and read through all the daily updates. What Liking news media Pages does is integrate news consumption into an activity that I am already doing (that is, using Facebook professionally and personally). By simply scrolling down my newsfeed I can get an idea of what is making news around the world, and follow up on the links that are of particular interest.
As you will see from my screenshot below, what I see in my Facebook Newsfeed is the news source, a summarising comment from the news source, an enticing image, the title of the news story and the first few lines of the article. Usually this is enough to satisfy my news needs however if something is of particular interest, I can click on this post and it will take me to the full article on the news media’s website.
Integrating your news consumption into your Facebook surfing sound appealing? All you need to do is search on Facebook for your desired news media Page (most of the major ones have a Facebook Page these days) and click “Like.” This will mean all future posts created by that Page will appear in your Newsfeed. You may like to start with Pages such as ABC News and PerthNow, and then take it from there!