Twitter – A modern-day professional tool for journalists

Amrita Tripathi guiding professionals and students to get the best out of their Twitter experiences.

Jaipur, 21 September 2019 – “Twitter is your microphone to the world. Like journalism, it is the first draft of history.”, said Amrita Tripathi, News Partnership Head at Twitter India, to an eager gathering at the second day of Talk Journalism 2019 waiting to learn about the intricacies of Twitter.

With over 326 million active users, approximately 500 million tweets are sent each day. The number of daily users has been increasing exponentially. Apart from being a chief avenue of showcasing content, it has been established as a dais for significant information. Today, around 72 million users turn to twitter for news and facts. Certainly, it is a robust platform which goes beyond sharing opinions.

Tripathi gave more insights into the popular social networking platform. “Twitter is real-time and hence more engaging. It’s about what is happening. Journalists across the world use it to seek out leads or give details of occurrences by sharing pictures, bytes, videos or going live. Furthermore, creating a thread proves to be very beneficial. It allows users to go beyond the character limit and tell the full story. Anyone can excavate the entire context one row. Reports and editors extensively utilize this element”. 

The public can prove to be the best source of information at times. Several users share their grievances through Twitter. Either it reaches to the authorities or rolls into significant campaigns. The well-known #metoo campaign shook the world. A tweet from the news-makers like leaders or artists can’t be overlooked. Along with acquainting with the breaking developments, Twitter gives an edge in delivering up-to-the-minute coverage.

Behind the scenes is another means to connect with the followers. It breaks the barriers between the personalities and the audiences. Comedians, journalists and travel influencers employ it to show their willingness to immersing with the followers. Consequently, they are rewarded with their loyalty.

The convenience to start a conversation on Twitter adds to its openness and accountability. A single tweet receives thousands of replies, others add to it or retweet it. An exchange of questions and answers ultimately leads to dialogue.

Users have the option of pinning important tweets. It reflects their outlook and opinions. Further, hashtags help in quick filtering of the required story. It groups related content which can be found later thereby facilitating the search of a particular topic. Hashtags like #missionmoon, #unionbudget etc. simplify correspondents’ news hunt. But less of hashtags should be the priority. Otherwise, the tweet may appear clustered. “Two is best, too much is bad,” emphasized Tripathi.

Other features that one misses upon while navigating through Twitter are:- Quality filters, Twitter List, Advanced Search, Tweet deck and Moments. The quality filter is used to screen out the best tweets and the latest one. It helps to know what is happening in chronological order. But it is not a value judgment and simply works on algorithms.

Twitter moments have curated stories showcasing the best of what is happening on Twitter. They are timely, informative, newsworthy, entertaining and fan-centric.

Tripathi also touched upon how the company is acting to make Twitter a safer domain. “It is also vital on the part of the users to be prompt in cases of trolling and violation of rules. Reporting and moderating such conversations are mandatory measures. In the case of doxing, actions are taken within 24 hours of reporting”

“Tweet establishes an authentic voice, find your voice, be conversational, tweet usually in the first person. The involvement can occasionally be toxic, overwhelming or wicked in terms of trolls. It is exceedingly opinionated but also a place to share information and tell stories, stories which can have a tremendous impact. Hence, building a healthier twitter and using it effectively is something that everyone should learn” concluded Tripathi. 

Text: Snigdha Sony | Copy Edit: Rupali Soni | Photo Desk: Sagar Samuel | Editorial Coordination: Rupali Soni & Niharika Raina