Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is transforming itself into an information network, as demand for latest news, informative articles and details related to prevailing trends is increasing day-by-day. Media publishers’ websites saw an increase in Facebook referral traffic by 170% in the last 1 year. Between September 2012 and September 2013, TIME’s Facebook referral traffic has increased by 208%, BuzzFeed is up by 855% and Bleacher Report has increased by a whopping 1081%.
Facebook recently revamped its news feed algorithm to provide more relevant information and enrich the user’s browsing experience and it updated its Story Bumping feature to highlight stories with new comments. Although, Facebook referral traffic to media publishing websites has increased and the demand for news by web users has also gone up, but it is important to know how many Facebook users use the website specifically for news consumption, or whether they engage with news due to overflowing updates from media publishers.
A new study by Pew research center in collaboration with Knight foundation, which surveyed 5,173 adults, reported a few interesting findings and stats about news consumption habits of Facebook users. Few important ones are highlighted below.
- Nearly 30% of the U.S adults consume news on Facebook, out of which 78% of them see news when they visit the site for some other purpose. Hardly 22% consider Facebook as a useful way to consume news.
- Only 16% of all Facebook users said that news was a major reason they logged on to the site. More than 60% of users visit Facebook to update themselves about their family and friends’ activities and view their photos and videos.
- Hardly 10% of Facebook users complained that it bothered them when their friends posted opinions about their news stories. Whereas 52% were bothered when people share information that is too personal.
- If we consider news consumption source in the last 2 years, social media networks recorded highest up surge from 7% in 2010 to 20% in 2013.
- Facebook users aged between 18-29 account for 20% of total users, but they form 34% of all Facebook news consumption.
- About 50% of those who consume news on Facebook see stories on at least six different topics. Entertainment being the highest with a 73% coverage. Business news which accounted for 31% was the least consumed.
- Nearly 70% of Facebook news consumers claimed that they were interested in a topic so they followed the story, about 51% felt the story was funny or entertaining, about 37% considered a friend’s recommendation and 13% were influenced by the number of likes and comments for the news article.
Source : Ibtimes