Social media slam dunks news sites as major source of news content

Social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are increasingly turning into leading sources of online news compared to traditional media websites.

At the same time, more people are using smartphones to access news compared to televisions, computers or laptops.

A study conducted by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism  has revealed that social media platforms are increasingly turning into trusted sources of online news and that a large percentage of populations in developing countries no longer trust traditional news sites for independent and reliable news. Online news content offered by social media platforms are free and people are also using ad-blockers which is hurting revenues of traditional news websites.

Britons hate phones in restaurants, most want them banned!

Even though making news available in Facebook, Twitter or YouTube brings in more readers and viewers, publishers are not able to connect directly with their audience and get recognized in the process. 'These things are happening because of us. We prefer news in the digital form because it's convenient but you get what you pay for. It takes money to do professional journalism,' said Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Reuters Institute director to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As per the report, 44 per cent of people are now using Facebook as a source of online news and 19 per cent and 10 per cent of people use YouTube and Twitter respectively to access online news. The percentage of such users is higher in developing countries in Africa and Asia. At the same time, 28 per cent of people in the age group of 18 to 24 years said that they access news on social media platforms while only 24 per cent of people relied on television.

In developed countries like Sweden, Korea and Switzerland, the percentage of people using smartphones to access news are 69 per cent, 66 per cent and 61 per cent respectively. Smartphones have also overtaken computers and laptops as a dominant source of news for the first time in Britain and the United States.

Guess how much money Facebook made from your FB obsession this year

Facebook's rise as a source of news and various other online content around the world has brought in record revenue and huge profits for the social networking giant. The company's revenue from mobile ads alone jumped 57 per cent from $3.3 billion to $5.2 billion. This means that while you were worth $2.50 to Facebook back in December, you are now worth $3.32 to the social networking giant, even though there are a lot more people on Facebook than there were a few months ago.

However, the fact that users are now more inclined to share links to other websites in their timelines has led to a year on year drop of 21 per cent as far as personal posts are concerned. Facebook could be partly guilty for the lack of personal shares on its website in the last twelve months. It has sought to take on Google as well as other news websites while maintaining its profile as a social hub, which has led to a lot of users using the platform as a source of news and related events.

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