BBC News gets editors tweeting and puts an end to auto tweets

Back in May the New York Times put real people behind Twitter feed as an experiment to see what would happen. It only tried it for a while before it reverted to mostly auto tweets, which is what many news organisations do including the BBC. Until now that is.

Today the BBC is implementing a new system after auto tweeting its headlines for years it will be putting its editors behind the tweet wheel and getting them to tweet during day time hours. It makes all the difference.

You only have to look at its first non auto tweet (directly below) and compare that to what it used to put out. One is more like journalism, with detail and extra information…


…while the other is short and simple and more lifeless. Far less likely to get people to do anything with.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that getting real people to tweet whether you are a news organisation like the BBC or a brand you will get more people clicking through, sharing and interacting with your content if you don’t auto tweet.

Other online news organisations have real people behind their accounts like CNN and you can see that by looking at its Twitter stream.  There are hashtags and retweets. There is overall more going on although it doesn’t appear all that interactive. Although when you have 5.4 million followers replying to all can be a tad hard.

Looking elsewhere in the UK you only have to look at how Sky News benefits from having editors doing its tweets and through the work of people like @TimGattSky and @SkyNewsBreak, which is updated by Sky’s textproducer most of the time and a web producer overnight.

I’m also guessing that it will help grow the various BBC News Twitter accounts which include the two million strong@BBCBreaking, the 1.1 million strong @BBCWorld and the @BBCNews Twitter account, which currently stands at 369,717.

The editors will tweet during day time hours with a feed of automatically tweeted headlines continuing 24/7 at @BBCNewsUKfeed.