This article explores the influence of social media giant Facebook on the journalistic field by examining how news organizations responded to Facebook’s algorithm tweak, announced in June 2014, that prioritized videos directly uploaded to the social media platform. In announcing the tweak, Facebook, an agent external to the journalistic field, did not just change its own internal rules but also imposed them on users, including news organizations traditionally governed by the journalistic field’s own set of rules. Based on large-scale posting activity data collected from 232 Facebook Pages operated by major news organizations in the United States, this study found that most news organizations complied with Facebook’s updated rules on Native Videos by significantly increasing their social video production, opening up the journalistic field to the influence of an agent external to journalism. But while digital-native and broadcast news publishers were more responsive in adapting to the tweak, print brands were slower to respond.
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- field theory
- online news
- social media