Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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Less news being shared via social media

The new Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism study finds that while people are becoming disenchanted with Facebook, interest in news sharing via software such as WhatsApp is growing.

From the Nieman Report (“After years of growth, the use of social media for news is falling across the world“):

The Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report for 2018 surveyed more than 74,000 people in 37 countries about their digital news consumption. (Included in the report for the first time this year: Bulgaria.)

The research is based on online YouGov surveys earlier this year, followed by face-to-face focus groups in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Brazil on the topics of social media and messaging apps. The report includes a number of findings on fake news, misinformation, and trust in the media; for more on those topics, see this piece by the report’s authors, and I’ll also include some more info in Friday’s fake news column.

When you say “social media,” you might as well just say Facebook.

“For the last seven years we have tracked the key sources for news across major countries and have reported a picture of relentless growth in the use of social media for news,” the researchers write.“Now, in many countries, growth has stopped or gone into reverse.” This is almost entirely due to changes in Facebook habits. In the U.S., for instance, 39 percent of people said they used Facebook as a source of news in 2018, down 9 percentage points from 2017. And if you look just at young people in the U.S., their use of Facebook for news is down by 20 percent compared to 2017. This isn’t true in all countries — “Facebook news usage is up significantly in Malaysia and the Czech Republic — but it’s true in most of the ones Reuters looked at. This continues a trend that began last year in countries outside the U.S.

Reuters ran most of its research before Facebook’s algorithm changes in January 2018.

Wed, June 13 2018 » Main Page, Media