Gone are the days when tuning into the local news television channel or flipping through the morning paper were the only ways to get caught up on world events. According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans own a smartphone. That means news outlets are now reaching audiences through mobile apps, email, social media, podcasts and more.
In fact, in the U.S., more than 9 out of 10 adults (93%) get at least some news online.
With technology at the forefront of our lives, the way society consumes news is transforming. But what new forms is the news taking?
Email Newsletters Deliver Instant News
Believe it or not, email newsletters are still a thing. However, more recent news-oriented newsletters are sleeker in style and are delivering “bite-sized” briefings.
Popular mediums such as TheSkimm, Need2Know and Quartz are delivering easily digestible emails to inboxes every morning. These platforms are designed to ensure readers get the information they need in a short amount of time. With an easy to read and clean format, they are simple and convenient for mobile email users.
“A lot of people forget this when they think of mobile – they think of apps. But email is inherently mobile. Everyone has email on their smartphones, and email looks great on your phone because you’re so limited,” Mille Tran, Director of Global Adaptation at Buzzfeed, said. “You basically only have words, links and images – beyond that there’s not much else.”
Thanks to our increasingly digital age, our attention spans are shorter than ever before. Thus, consumers want everything instantaneously, and email is making that possible. People don’t have to wait for the morning paper everyday. They can easily sign up for an email that will be delivered to their phone first thing in the morning.
Mobile News Apps Create a Way to Interact with News
Many veteran news publications such as The New York Times and USA Today have shifted to mobile apps. People can read news on the apps just as they could on the publication’s website or print version. However, apps allow users to share articles to social media, comment on posts, and explore exclusive content only found on the app.
Additionally, many apps have a push notification enabler. This allows the app to send a message directly to a consumer’s phone with a breaking news or custom notification. This engages users and draws them into the app.
The apps for news sites provide users with a digital experience of their brand. From videos and articles to interactive timelines and photo galleries, the apps are paving a new way for people to consume and interact with news.
The Connect Between Social Media and News
About a quarter of U.S. adults (26%) get news from two or more social media sites. Another survey found that nearly 72% of social media app users read or watch news stories on social media apps.
According to Pew Research, Facebook has the largest share of social media news consumers – 45% of adults use Facebook for news. Through this research, it was found that users who use other social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., are more likely to get their news from multiple news platforms.
Social media apps now have “news” and “trending” tabs that curate information in real time. Breaking news stories and the most talked about topics online are put into these spaces so readers can quickly get caught up on news. Additionally, news outlets have social media accounts that put out breaking news posts, share published stories and interact with users.
Podcasts Allow People to Listen to the News
Podcasts are the hip new way to stay in the loop without having to actually read anything. Many people enjoy the convenience of podcasts, so much so that 44% of Americans have listened to a podcast at some point in their lives, according to Edison Research. A lot of podcasts tend to fall under the comedy or health & fitness category, but major news publications are jumping on board to deliver their news to people through audio.
These podcasts range from major publications, such as The New York Times’ “The Daily” delivering daily news briefings, all the way to smaller podcasts, such as “The Good News Podcasts” that gives listeners “good” news packed into 2-7 minute segments.
Listening to podcasts is a newer phenomenon in the world of digital advancements, but they’re ideal for people with long commutes to work or those who simply do not have the time in their day to read the news.
A New Digital Space for News
From emails and podcasts to social media and apps, there are many new channels that make staying up to date on the news easy.
Our news consumption is transforming thanks to technological advancements. As technology is further integrated into our lives, the way we get news will continue to evolve.
This article was written by Erin McGrath and Riley Panko.