Why is @Reuters yelling at me?

By Anthony De Rosa
June 22, 2012

We conducted a survey of our @Reuters followers recently, and asked them this:  sometimes the Reuters wire publishes alerts in ALL CAPS, usually when the news is urgent.  Should we run them in uppercase and lower case on Twitter, as we would for normal conversation? What is more important?

The answer choices were: a) Receiving accurate news quickly even if that news is delivered in an “all caps” tweet or b) I’d like news to be reformatted from “all caps” before being sent, even if it takes longer.

At the time of this post, we received 1181 responses, 77 percent were in favor of “all caps,” while 23 percent were opposed.

I want to address why I think it’s important to sometimes post “all caps” tweets. First, I need to explain for some who don’t subscribe to our wire why they’re in “all caps” to begin with. Urgent one-line messages on our wire are called “snaps.” They precede longer, more in-depth reports.

They alert people to urgent news. The folks who manage our Twitter accounts don’t post in “all caps” to the wire. We receive the snaps that way. When there is urgent news, the quickest and most accurate way to share that news with our Twitter followers is to take that snap directly from the wire to you on Twitter, without rewriting it, without caps and without the possibility of rewriting it and making a mistake.

While we review these options often, the survey indicates that this is what our audience wants. We save these type of “all caps” Tweets for what we believe is urgent news.

We’ll continue to review these decisions, and they’re subject to change to make sure we serve you best and provide you with timely, accurate information. Feel free to leave comments here under this post to let us know what you think.

One comment

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I agree with the 77 percent who approve of the all caps Tweets.

It jumps out at you over the “normal” text and your brain associates it with something important.

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