Social Media in Bin Laden News: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Google

In this third post about Bin Laden death media coverage, we show some results concerning one of the issues that becomes gradually more relevant each time that a major event or crisis occur: references to social media by traditional news providers, the newspapers.

Each event has its own characteristics influencing the role that different social media channels can play. Time evolution and spacial scope is definetively different in recent events with massive media impact like Japan earthquake and tsunami, Fukushima nuclear crisis, Tunisia, Egypt and Lybia revolts, Prince William and Kate royal wedding, John Paul II beatification, and now, Bin Laden death by US troops. it is arguably that these difference in space and time impact have also an influence on the utility of social media.

Bin Laden killing operation is an event with massive media impact, but the origin of the enws was extremely concentrated in time and space. Virtually no place for amateur live captures of the event. This is why uncoscient live tweets of the event by the right now social media star Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant received global media exposure.

Whata about the presence of social media tools and channels in portraying Bin Laden crisis?

Social media are not comparable as they produce each one of the very different outputs: messages, videos, photographs, text and comments. A way to provide an indirect common measure of theire relative relevance is to check their presence in traditional news channels, that is news published by newspapers.

We show below our results using this approach.

Our answer is clear: the game has been won by Twitter. Results refer to global media coverage all over the world. They capture a 58% share of all references to social media. Second reference is Facebook, with 29%, less than half than Twitter. Google takes another 9%. 4% goes to Youtube. Analysis is made with the information from some 13.000 different news mentioning the social media channels in relation with Bin Laden death media coverage, up to May 3.

We analyze in the following figure the share of media reference of Twitter by regions of the world.

Major dominance is in Latin American countries, as 68% of all news references to social media are about Twitter. Lowest level is reached in African countries, with a share of 40.5%. Media from countries with muslim predominance refer to Twitter in a 44.2% share.

Next figure shows the share of each social media tool in two main media markets: Europe and North America (ex Mexico). By comparison, Facebook has more power in North America than in Europe. Both regions are balanced concerning the use of Twitter. Google and Youtube are most widely referenced by media in Europe.

Final figure shows time evolution of the share of worldwide media references to each one of the social media players. Our results show a very stable path concerning the relative power of each one of the channels mentioned by traditional media. We can appreacite a slighly upward trend concerning the share of Facebook, and downwards trend for Google.

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