Fox News is making a return to Twitter, more than a year after going silent on the social-media platform.
At 2:18 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2018, the Fox Corporation-owned cable-news outlet issued a tweet telling its followers that a federal appeals court had ruled against the Trump administration’s desire to end the U.S. program that gives immigrants a chance to continue working and living in the United States. After that, the network’s main feed went silent. Since that time, there has not been a headline, a video, an alert or even a programming note.
Now the news outlet is poised to resurface on the venue, with executives envisioning the chance to use it as a service or a means of getting information about the coronavirus outbreak to followers. Approximately 18.5 million people follow the network on Twitter.
The first tweet from the feed in months is expected to tell followers to keep up with news about the coronavirus outbreak. Followers will also be directed to FoxNews.com or to watch Fox News Channel on TV or online, without authentication being required.
Keep up with all the latest COVID-19 news, including tips on keeping safe and stories of survival, struggle and inspiration, at https://t.co/m6O9czFdVU and watch Fox News Channel on television or online – no authentication required.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 18, 2020
The move is one of several Fox News has made to tackle coronavirus coverage, despite some of its opinion hosts sparking controversy by suggested viewers dismiss concerns about it. In recent days, however, Fox News has added new programming focused on the pandemic, scuttled primetime programming on Fox Business Network to use staffers for more pressing newsgathering efforts and cut overnight repeats in favor of live news hours anchored by Shannon Bream and Trace Gallagher.
Executives at the network believe the Fox News Twitter feed will help disseminate information to people who may be isolated in their homes and help answer questions about coronavirus submitted by viewers. And it comes after Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott has worked to revamp digital properties related to Fox News and Fox Business.
Fox News also charts a Twitter return as it is launching other digital initiatives around coronavirus news. Medical experts are answering questions from FoxNews.com users live between noon and 1 p.m. A free daily digital newsletter about the crisis launched Monday. Fox Corporation launched CoronavirusNow.com that pulls news from both Fox News Media and Fox Television Stations.
There has been speculation Fox News decided to go silent on one of the media’s favorite platforms for cross-talk and commentary after an activist group protested outside primetime host Tucker Carlson’s home in November of 2018. His home address was posted on Twitter as part of the demonstration.
But other parts of Fox News’ Twitter properties have remained extant. Someone continues to monitor and respond from the FNC Assignment Desk feed, particularly when newsworthy images start making their way around the venue. Anchor Bret Baier uses his feed to respond to followers and critics of the work he does on his 6 p.m. “Special Report” as well as his political coverage. Harris Faulkner, Liz Claman and Brian Kilmeade are among the anchors who have been active on Twitter in recent days.
Twitter would also give Fox News a bigger chance to interact with younger viewers, who are not the broadest part of the viewership of its cable network. U.S. adults on Twitter are nearly three times as likely to be younger than 50, according to data from Pew Research Center.