When I’m not at my house near my lap top or iPad, I am always checking my Twitter, Facebook and Goolge+ accounts on my smartphone. I suppose I’m worried I’ll miss something big and want to stay up to date as possible on all news, whether its friend news, or world news. I think its now more out of habit than anything else. This weekend was no different, and as I was out and about on Saturday afternoon, I checked my Twitter and saw that Whitney Houston had died. Twitter users had broken the news 55 minutes before an other news outlets did, which is amazing if you think about it. At first, naturally, I was hesitant to believe it. Yes, many time’s there are Twitter death rumors, for instance Jon Bon Jovi last year, but a lot of times they are right, like this time. So how did this news spread so fast on Twitter, but no other news outlets were reporting it? Thats the power of social media.
Apparently, the daughter of Whitney Houston’s makeup artist, broke the news on her personal twitter account, and from there it spiraled and was soon world wide news. This happened only 7 minutes after the police pronounced her dead! And almost an hour, 55 minutes to be exact, before the Associated Press confirmed the news on their Twitter account. 2.5 million tweets about her death occurred within the first hour, me being one of them!
After I read this on twitter, I checked my normal celebrity news sites to get the scoop, and no such reports. At first, I didn’t think it was true because no one else was reporting it, but low and behold, it was true. This made me realize just how powerful people and social media are. With so many users on Twitter and Facebook, breaking news is bound to hit the social media platforms before it hits the news sites such as CNN. One of the reasons I know check Twitter so much, is because of the breaking news factor. Its also why I follow so any people on Twitter, because I know someone is bound to tweet or re-tweet news before anyone else.
Twitter released the following image showing the spike in Tweets and the timing of everything surrounding Whitney Houston’s death.