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Twitter fails at spreading hard news

Twitter not so good at spreading hard news
Twitter Fail Whale
(CBS News/What's Trending) - While Twitter prides itself in connecting the world and sharing our every thought, the microblogging site does little in spreading legitimate news.According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, Twitter accounts for less than one percent of traffic at most major news sites. Of the 21 participating websites, the Los Angeles Times is the largest beneficiary with 3.53 percent of its referrals coming from Twitter. Following is the New York Times with 1.21 percent, the New York Post (1.2), and the Huffington Post (1.16). So, Twitter's role in the world of news may be a little overblown. (See: Breaking Bin Laden's death and sparking revolution) To be fair, the site undoubtedly breaks and spreads news, sparking conversation and urging many to research topics. But, until users clicking on links from news sites, Twitter will remain what it has always been: a rumor mill and a celebrity soapbox. Facebook, on the other hand, is becoming "a critical player in news," driving up to seven and eight percent of traffic to CNN, ABC News and the Huffington Post. That's more than double the traffic from Twitter, which shouldn't surprise you considering Facebook's 600 million users dwarf Twitter's 175 million. For a pure news search, top honors go to -- who else? -- Google. Google Search and Google News remain the biggest drivers of users to online news publications. "On average the search engine was responsible for 30 percent of traffic," the study says. "It was the lead referring site for 17 of these major news sites and the second-ranked referring site for the other four." The lesson of all this: If you're looking for news, go to Google. If you want to share news, go to Facebook. If you want to read Charlie Sheen opine about the virtues of cocaine, go to Twitter.
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