It’s not unusual for people and companies to turn to social media in times of crisis, but the New York Times did so today with a twist.
The paper’s website (and internal email system) was offline for a couple hours and, as you might expect, it turned to Twitter to let readers know about the outage.
The Times also continued to post short news updates to Twitter, but without links since the website was offline.
Egypt’s state news services report that the death toll from the nationwide clashes has reached 149.
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) August 14, 2013
Meanwhile, Times’ writers and reporters were still working on and filing full-length stories. So where did the Times’ turn when it wanted to get those articles published? Facebook. And it told its Twitter followers to visit its Facebook page to start finding full-length articles.
The Times’ began tweeting out news with links again, but the links pointed to the articles published on Facebook.
Egypt declares state of emergency as scores are killed in crackdown http://t.co/ypwqJadoAp
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 14, 2013
Here’s a screenshot of that article on the Times’ Facebook page (in case the paper decides later to remove it for some reason).
The Times currently has about 3.3 million Facebook fans as I write this. I don’t know how many it had before it started posting full news articles there today, but it was probably a little less.
Meanwhile, over on Google+, where the Times has about 1.5 million followers — nothing to be ashamed of — the Times was completely dead today. It hasn’t posted anything on Google+ since last Friday, August 9th.
It’s reminiscent of last November, when President Barack Obama declared re-election victory on Twitter and Facebook, but not on Google+.
Clearly, Google still has a lot of work to do in getting brands to think of Google+ in times like this when social messaging becomes even more important than on a normal day.