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14 Jun 2018

Facebook no longer preferred for news, users turn to WhatsApp

Facebook now used less for consuming news: Study

According to a research by the Reuters Institute, the use of Facebook for consuming and discussing news has overall reduced by 9 percentage points from 2017 in the US as users turn to WhatsApp for the same.

Further, the figure is down 20 points specifically for younger users.

The data is based on a survey of 74,000 people conducted in 37 markets.

In context

Facebook now used less for consuming news: Study
Messaging apps over social media

Details

Messaging apps over social media

"The use of social media for news has started to fall in a number of key markets after years of continuous growth," Nic Newman, research associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, said.

"We continue to see a rise in the use of messaging apps for news as consumers look for more private (and less confrontational) spaces to communicate," he added.

Reason

Users feel less vulnerable discussing news on WhatsApp

The study stated that while social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are still used by many users to source news, the discussion over it has shifted to messaging apps like WhatsApp because it's more personal and less "out there."

Several respondents said that they preferred to post news items from Facebook on a WhatsApp group of close friends.

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Less than half of the respondents trust media

Fake news

Less than half of the respondents trust media

According to the survey, 34% of the respondents in the US trusted most news most of the time. This is down by 4 points from 2017.

The most trusted news sources are local television news and the Wall Street Journal in the US and BBC news and ITV news in the UK, the research revealed.

Grappling with impact of internet and how news is consumed

"The challenge for publishers now is to ensure that the journalism they produce is truly distinct, relevant and valuable, and then effectively promoting it to convince people to donate or subscribe," said Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of research at the Reuters Institute.

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