Facebook is increasingly a news network


Social networks such as Facebook, YouTube or Twitter are changing the way readers receive news content. This is the conclusion of a study by the Pew Research Center, an American organization responsible for analyzing social behaviors related to the press, politics and public opinion.


According to researchers Monica Anderson and Andrea Caumont, Facebook is already one of the main channels through which North American Internet users receive news. Two thirds of North American Internet users have Facebook and 30% of them receive news through the famous social network.

From target audience to loyal reader

Of the North American readers who receive news on Facebook, half share the information, 46% comment and discuss and the new trend is that of the “reader-journalist”: 14% share their own photos with newspapers and 12% do the same with videos.

The social media giant is increasingly emerging as the great business opportunity for newspapers and, as the study shows, makes audiences soar. However, success is not guaranteed: newspapers have to know well what the target audience is looking for and how to win it.

As the Pew Research Center study shows, the loyal reader – the one who directly consults the news site – spends more time reading online news (4:26 minutes), consults more pages (about 25) and guarantees more daily visits (more of ten). By contrast, the Facebook newsreader spends 1:41 minutes on the newspaper page, consults four web pages and guarantees only three daily visits.

Social media strategy

To aggregate the Facebook audience, it is necessary to define a strategy that responds to what it is looking for, to turn the occasional visitor into a faithful reader of an online newspaper .

The researchers studied the news topics that Internet users consult most: entertainment, people and community events, sports, government and national politics, and crime appear at the top of readers' preferences. Science, business and international are not so popular with Facebook newsreaders.

A strategy that responds to the preferences of a newspaper's readers can mean exponential growth in audiences. A misstep on social media can jeopardize the entire newspaper, not least because, as the study explains, the repercussions are more immediate and stronger in the age of online journalism .

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