New Generation: Bin Laden assassination, reported first on Twitter, spreads on Facebook

SMU Journalism Professor Jake Batsell, a social media expert, talks about the rapid spread of Osama Bin Laden's death on Twitter and Facebook.

Dawn Tongish
The 33 News

DALLAS, TX— Twitter followers heard of Osama Bin Laden's death about 20 minutes before people watching television heard the announcement that the terrorist was dead at the hands of US Special Forces.

People turned to social media for the breaking news, giving Twitter a big record. Almost 3,500 tweets were sent every second in the hours following the announcement. The highest in the site's history. . .

In real time and with lightening speed, word did spread on Twitter and Facebook. Experts say Bin Laden's death received about five million mentions on Facebook.

"Twitter and Facebook are the go-to places," SMU Journalism Professor Jake Batsell said.

Batsell says Bin Laden's death cemented social media as the source for news in a fast-paced world, that often can't wait.

"The news cycle is so immediate now. If it breaks on Twitter, everyone else is just trying to catch up."

Read the full story or watch the video report.

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