The BBC adds a personal touch to tweeting the news

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It’s been announced that BBC News is adopting a new way to tweet its news. Until now, like most news organisations, it’s relied on ‘auto-tweets’ to spread its updates across the globe, but that practice is now going to change.

The decision’s been made to put ‘real’ people behind the Twitter news updates, rather than relying on a computer to simply tweet headlines on a regular basis. At a time of budget cuts and squeezes, it’s a bold move by the Beeb to commit to this level of resource – but I think it’s the right one.

Most of us have followed people (or organisations) on Twitter whose tweets are automated and, although the updates are informative, they’re also pretty dull and uninspiring, leading us to hit the ‘unfollow’ button fairly swiftly.

Having a person responsible for updating the news on Twitter has its benefits – tweets with a bit more personality are often the ones that tend to attract new followers, keep existing ones and encourage retweeting. Perhaps more significantly, what the BBC is doing could also point to the future direction of journalism and how social media is used to report news.

If the BBC’s now using its best talents to tweet the news, it arguably reflects how seriously organisations view the reporting of news in this manner. With millions of us using social media as our main way of receiving news, the BBC has recognised that its Twitter feeds have to be looked after with ‘proper’ care and attention and not just see them as an after-thought.

With our use of Twitter to gather news only likely to grow in the near future, I don’t think it’ll be long before other organisations follow the BBC’s lead and give their news a more personal touch.