Facebook news is no news
People are relying less on Facebook for their news. Use of the social network for news content has slipped globally from 42% to 36%, according to the 2018 Reuters Digital News Report.
News consumption via Facebook is down nine percentage points in the US and 20 points with younger groups.
And according to Reuters research, consumer perception of Facebook can currently be characterised as ‘multi-faceted, creepy, ego-centric, uncool uncle, mid-life crisis, clean, generic’.
“Survey and focus group evidence suggests a combination of push and pull factors at play,” says the report. “Consumers are being put off by toxic debates and unreliable news, but they are also finding that alternative networks offer more convenience, greater privacy, and less opportunity to be misunderstood.”
Focus group respondents still talk about finding stories on Facebook but then they will often post them to a WhatsApp group for discussion, often using a screen grab or a headline without a link.
“Even though you may disagree with your friend on WhatsApp, friends are able to keep that good level of respect, everybody shares their opinion, and anyone who disagrees can joke about it,” says a Brazilian respondent. “It’s a lighter mood to debate news with friends on WhatsApp than on Facebook.”
According to recent research from Pew Research Center, while Facebook used to dominate social media for youth, only half of US teens currently use it.