Real time internet use

22nd April, 2009

The adoption of social media by the masses has caused a fundamental change in the way that we use the internet. Most people now have a Twitter or Facebook account to allow them to share and communicate with the world at large. As a consequence Internet use is becoming more ‘real time’ as people want to know what is happening now, rather than what happened yesterday, or even a few hours ago.

Earlier this year Facebook and CNN teamed up to provide a way for internet users to watch the US inauguration online and interact while it was on. The partnership allowed users to watch the event live from the CNN video feed, with comments from other Facebook users appearing along the right hand side of the screen. Different tabs allowed users to see either the comments from their own friends, or from the entire community.

The next day Facebook reported the figures:

  • 600,000 status updates were posted through the Live Facebook feed
  • an average of 4,000 status updates every minute during the broadcast
  • 8,500 status updates per the minute when Obama began his speech

It is well documented how Obama used social media to great effedt and there are definately lessons that can be learned for the rest of us mere mortals. Whilst the average business is unlikely to get CNN to provide a live feed of your latest bit of news you should remember that people are still interested in and react to 'live' events.

Social media is just that - social - so make sure that you give people something to react to.

Jason Edge

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