Paper on NYT's presence on SNS


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Paper on NYT's presence on SNS

  1. 1. New York Times’presence on the Social Network Sites
  2. 2. The New York Times is an American newspaper, published in New York, which circulation is approximately 1 million daily. This newspaper is an institution in the news industry, as it has been created in 1851, and won 101 Pulitzer prizes (the most of all news companies). In December 2008, a study showed that the New York Times’ website was the most popular website in the US, with more than 18 million unique visitors monthly. Everybody knows that the printed newspaper industry suffers a lot because of the Internet. Newspaper companies have to readapt themselves to achieve the shift into digitalisation. With the most popular website in the US, the New York Times is succeeding in attracting a lot of readers and would be consumers on its website. How come? How do they manage to attract very unpredictable and volatile Internet users? How does the New York Times use social networking sites (“SNS”) to curb physical sales decrease? Does the future of the New York Times rely on SNS? To tackle such burning issues, first I will focus on the use of SNS made by the New York Times, and then I will wonder if using SNS will be the future New York Times’ business model. I. Presence on social network sites to remain close to consumers I.1 - Facebook The New York Times uses all the tools available on Facebook to communicate towards its audience. As all companies, they can use different tools to remain close to their consumers and potential consumers. (i) The New York Times has its group page, which currently gathers almost 1000 Facebook users, different discussion topics, a few wall posts, and links added by group users. (ii) In parallel to this page (that is not really a successful group), the New York Times has its fan page, which gathers more than 470 000 Facebook users. Lots of article links, photos and videos, are added to the wall to make users read articles on the New York Times’ official website. Under each post (links towards articles or photos), you can see that around 100 people liked or commented each post. So, this page gathers lots of Facebook
  3. 3. users, but only 0,02% of them are active on the page (“like” button or comments made). (iii) In addition to these pages, the New York Times delivered a couple of applications: “the New York Times news quiz”, with 1 200 monthly users, “ most e- mailed articles”, with around 230 monthly users. At first sight, it appears that the presence on Facebook is not very efficient because the New York Times does not gather enough users. I.2 - LinkedIn The presence of the New York Times on LinkedIn, is similar to its presence on Facebook. Indeed, there is a company profile on LinkedIn where users can read a summary of the newspaper history, key statistics, news, and stock information. Users have also access, thanks to this profile, to current employees registered on LinkedIn, former employees, new hires, recent changes in position, most popular profiles, and job offers. Besides, a couple of unofficial groups exist. At first glance, the use of this SNS is much more professional, as LinkedIn it is a professional networking site. The New York Times presence on LinkedIn is much more professional, dealing with the company itself, than focusing on news spreading, as it is on Facebook. I.3 - Twitter What about Twitter, often seen as the future of micro journalism? The New York Times has several profiles on Twitter, combining almost 2 million followers. There are profiles for each news topic: “@nytimes”, “@nytimesstyle”, “@nytimesarts”, “@nytimesScience”, “@nytimestravel”, “@nytimesnational”, “@nytimesworld”, “@nytimespolitics”, “@nytimessports” and much more. The New York Times uses these profiles to “microblog” headlines (an average of 2 posts per hour) giving in each post a link towards the main New York Times’ website to read the whole story. In addition to that, lots of Twitter user RT (re-tweet) New York Times’
  4. 4. tweets, spreading articles to their followers. In this way, users themselves become “advertisers” for the New York Times’ main website, much more than on other SNS. I.4 – Google (Youtube and Fastflip) The New York Times is also present on Youtube, where the newspaper has a “Youtube Channel”, 1 500 online videos, and more than 17 000 users following the channel. The channel is the 24th more watched with almost 18 million videos watched by users. Through Youtube, the New York Times shares with users who can watch and comment videos. The New York Times, whose online motto is “Where the conversation begins”, tries also with Youtube to attract users towards the main New York Times’ website. Besides, Google released a few weeks ago a new search engine called “fastflip”. This product is a consulting engine: users can flip headlines and articles of newspapers (only partners of this product, among them is the New York Times). Google presented it as an “easier and more rapid” way to browse the news. Users have access to homepages of newspaper sites and reach newspaper websites when they are interested in an article. I.5 - Digg, Delicious and Reddit The New York Times also uses these social bookmarking websites. Users can store, share and discover articles via posts made by other users. Then, users vote for interesting article to promote the best content so that it can be seen by more users. How does the New York Times use such websites? Every article can be shared through these websites and the New York Times uses tools to make sharing easy. So, it is really convenient for users to share articles they have read on the New York Times’ website to promote them among their communities.
  5. 5. I.8 - Flickr To finish with the presence of the New York Times on SNS, let’s underline the presence of the newspaper on Flickr. Flickr is not very used by the New York Times: it has one profile with only 122 shared pictures, compared to the official White House photo stream that shares more than 1 200 pictures. II. Presence on social network sites is not a new business model To conclude, online presence of the New York Times on SNS is only a way to stay in touch with its public. All the SNS are used as “readers aggregators”: the New York Times uses SNS to promote its content, to create buzz, to create articles sharing... Through SNS, the newspaper gathers readers into communities so that the newspaper stays in touch with them. Indeed, it is necessary to remain in minds of volatile internet users that can go on every website to find news. Today’s internet users can reach news everywhere, that is why the New York Times has to be the closest news provider, and it tries to be so via SNS. However, being present on SNS does not mean earning money... Articles and advertisement are only sold on the New York Times’ website. New York Times’ presence on SNS does not make the newspaper earn money but it attracts audience, what is a key point. I think the New York Times should be more aggressive on SNS: like CNN when the channel organised a contest on Twitter vs. Ashton Kutcher. Indeed, the New York Times is present on SNS but I think it does not create enough buzz on these SNS. It should do so to reach more audience and attract more readers on its website.
  6. 6. III. Bibliography Press articles - Google multiple les gestes envers la presse, les échos, 16/09/09 - Google développe un système pour faire payer la lecture de journaux en ligne, les échos, 10/09/09 - What If: The New New York Times, by Michael Arrington on July 30, 2009 Social networking sites Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Youtube / Digg / Reddit / Delicious / Flickr