4 things you need to know about news and technology now

Smartphone and tablet use is on the rise, and this is good for journalism. A Pew Research Center study released yesterday is chockfull of findings and data that are sure to excite news junkies. It found that half of Americans use smartphones and tablets with mobile internet connections, and 66 percent of those users get news on their devices. With so much content being read and shared across platforms, here are four things you need to know about news now:

Smartphones/tablets are key sites for news consumption and their users read more news than average
Most smartphone and tablet owners use their devices to read the news. Sending and checking email is the only activity that trumps news consumption on these devices, and news consumption is close behind. Rather than detract from overall news consumption, people who uses multiple devices actually spend more time overall consuming the news. Almost one-third of people who become the lucky owners of an iPad, Kindle, etc. find that they read news from more sources than before. What does this mean for you? The user experience must be clean and consistent across plaforms. Don’t discount the mobile experience when producing and publishing content.

News is more social than ever
For Americans under 30 social media has surpassed newspapers and equals TV as a primary source of daily news. For the rest of us, smartphone owners rely on social networks more than the average user for news. Nearly half of smartphone news users, 47 percent, receive news through email or social networks sometimes or regularly, while 35 percent share news this way at least sometimes. The percent of traffic that comes to news sites from social media platforms increased 57 percent since 2009. Great images and headlines can help your content get more traction across social networks. People are also most likely to share information that they trust, especially if someone trusted shared it with them first.

Reputation matters
Consumers want news from names they trust. The reputation or brand of a news organization is the most important factor in determining where consumers get their news, and this is even more true on mobile devices than on laptops or desktops. This means that licensing content from a trusted source, rather than producing your own, is a good option if you’re thinking about content strategy.

People still prefer the browser to apps
On both smartphones and tablets, the majority of users prefer using web browsers to access news rather than specific apps. Quartz’s and USA Today’s approach—to make a smartphone/tablet-friendly website—seems especially relevant given the release of these findings. Google and the CopyBlogger offer good tips on how to make sure that your website works smoothly on mobile browsers.

Copyright: NewsCred Blog

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