Social media users retreat from Facebook to Whatsapp for their news

Avatar By Le Williams | 2 years ago

According to a U.S. research study published Thursday by Oxford University’s Reuters Institute, Facebook News search and sharing statistics have decreased by 9 percent from 2017 to 2018, with news consumption among younger users declining 20 percent.

Social media users are increasingly redirecting news searches and sharing activity to alternative platforms, such as Whatsapp, based on research data.

Globally Facebook news consumption has degenerated 6 percent from 2016 through 2018, while Whatsapp observed a 4 percent increase in that time period. Instagram and Snapchat news usage rose 3 percent and 2 percent respectively in two years.

Both Whatsapp and Instagram are owned by Facebook. Snap-owned Snapchat has been driving news content on its platform, with a redesign in February prioritizing publishers and content creators.

The Oxford University’s Reuters Institute revealed how consumers around the world are finding the private nature of messaging services, similar to Whatsapp, more interesting and convenient. Users are more willing to share and engage in news content through messaging platforms that enable greater privacy.

It arrives at a trying time for Facebook, which has been trying to salvage its image following a data scandal that first emerged in March. Facebook has recently looked to change its approach to news on its platform, updating its News Feed in January to prioritize local news.