CNN uses social media very effectively through a variety of methods.
First of all, when the official CNN website is accessed, the first thing that is visible is the headline news. This makes up to date information easily accessible.
In the top menu, there is a link called iReport.
An iReport is typically an amatuer video submitted to CNN for use by someone who happened to be on the scene of a news item. The iReport may not always be on the front page, but CNN uses those frequently. iReports encourage users to interact with the media. iReports also help develop media ties with communities while showing compelling footage and photos.
CNN also shows its new media skills by presenting a triple threat of video, text and still pictures for people using all kinds of new media devices. This aids ease of use, which is vital to retaining viewers. A mobile version of the website allows cell phone users to access information with fewer technical problems.
An icon notes which links on the home page are for videos, so if a user can not watch videos, that user will not click on them. However, individual stories frequently links to multiple videos and photos as well as text. These kinds of options keep users on the website for longer without making those users feel frustrated or lost.
CNN.com also offers polls which encourage viewers to visit the website and to interact with live shows on television through it. Sometimes web comments are read on the air. An example of such a segment would be the Cafferty File. On the Cafferty File, viewers are asked about political issues, and a few of the most interesting responses are read on air. Many reporters have a blog and an e-mail address.
Twitter is also used by CNN and its reporters to keep cell phone users and those not currently viewing programming up to date with the news. This also keeps viewers in touch with the cable network.
CNN has a Facebook account, as do reporters like Anderson Cooper. These accounts use links to draw viewers to the website.
Each news item typically has icons that allow the user to repost the information to Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Myspace, and LinkedIn. There is also an option to e-mail the news item to another person. These features encourage the news item to “go viral” and spread to other users.
CNN comes in multiple editions for different regions of the world, so if a user wanted news from another area, he need only change the settings on the website.
News is divided into pertinent categories to further improve ease of use.
CNN uses online advertising for sites like Netflix to profit from this media.
Overall, I think CNN has adapted well to new technology and social media.