It's no secret that news is changing, and, as a journalism student, I feel I am at the very juncture of its transformation.
Snapchat teamed up with companies like CNN, Daily Mail, and ESPN to release its new Discover feature on January 27. With the tip of a finger, you can press, swipe, watch and scroll through news updates, celebrity gossip, and sports statistics. "This is not social media," the app's blog brags, but is instead communication built from class-act players.
And, honestly, Snapchat has every right to boast.
The estimated $10 billion company already has 100 million monthly active users, so the effort to hop on the Discover feature is as painless as browsing through friends' "Recent Updates."
If Snapchat's venture does prove successful, it could compete with Twitter and Facebook's "trending" news and with up-and-coming platforms like theSkimm.
I'd be lying if I said I initially welcomed these new outlets with open arms. After reading my first Skimm, my thoughts were something along the lines of, "Cool! Now I can make sure I'm staying on top of everything!" followed by a nagging "Great; one more way to ensure the bitter end of current news and the job market for people like me."
But soon I realized that news isn't gone forever; it's forever changing. No matter the form, people will always want to know what's going on around them, and technology just makes the gathering process all that simpler. While sites like Newspaper Death Watch track the fall of some greats, moneybags like Google and Oprah Winfrey give their stamps of approval to the innovative. More assuredly, investors make decisions because they are willing to bet on something, so acquiring funds for the new media must mean they're doing something right.
The best part? We, the people of Wi-Fi wielding power, can help decide which news is important to cover. Think about it -- we tweeted about governmental injustices from our homes in places like Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria, changed our profile pictures to Human Rights Campaign's equal sign, got Boston Strong, signed on to the HeForShe campaign, and covered the Internet with #BlackLivesMatter and #JeSuisCharlie.
The second wave of media is here, and it is here to be our cyber public forum. We can read, watch, or listen to news pieces and then comment on and share them in a vocal way, making us all better-informed global citizens who can, in turn, choose to act.
Some things should remain as they are; for example, maybe we went a little too far on the bacon floss. But news is an integral part of everyone's lives, and with the objective of informing the public, it is the duty of the media to keep up with the times.