Abstract: During the last few years online-only media have been explored as an alternative to mainstream media. The development of this new media model coincides in time with an increase in dependence on social networks. Online media editors estimate that one third of their visits proceed from Facebook, a figure that obliges them to create specific strategies to ensure their company’s reputation and growth in the 2.0 field. The aim of this article is to assess what motivates Spanish digital-native newspapers to act on social networks, analyse their internal view of these channels, and describe their strategies for managing their relationship with audiences. Based on a qualitative and longitudinal approach, we conducted in-depth interviews with the social media editors of the most relevant digital-native newspapers in Spain—El Confidencial, Eldiario.es, El Español and El HuffPost—during 2017 and 2019, in order to trace the evolution of their professional routines. These social media editors consider that although digital-native newsrooms are smaller than traditional ones, they are more agile in reacting to metrics. Our results also confirm that Instagram is generating great expectations, and the new paywall system is affecting the way audiences are understood.
Keywords: audience; media business; new media; newspaper; online-native newsroom; social media; social networks