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People Increasingly Turn To Social Media For News

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Millennials browsing on their smartphones.
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In these days of pandemic, protests, economic recession and angst among the world’s population a recently issued report shows that consumers continue to shift away from traditional media sources for their news and are moving more towards social media and messaging services to find the news.

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An old TV on a wooden table

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Long gone are the days of people getting most of their news from a local TV station, their local newspaper or the national newscast from one of the networks. Over 15 years ago, we already saw the substantial decay of Americans using traditional news sources and instead the Internet becoming a major source of news, particularly for the 18 to 34 year old demographic. This data comes from a study done for Carnegie Corporation in 2005. A research group I led at the time was responsible for the study. Carnegie Corporation is a major U.S. charitable foundation with a significant interest in journalism and news.

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Reading newspapers

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As newspapers have fallen dramatically in usage, and the national newscasts have dropped in ratings, the swing to new sources of information has accelerated considerably. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University has recently issued a report on the state of digital news around the world.

One of the very notable facts coming out from the study is the heavy use of Instagram for news which could soon possibly overtake Twitter. Instagram news consumers were 11% of the social media population. Twitter was statistically tied at 12%. Just as we found in 2005 for Carnegie Corporation, the shift away from traditional news media sources is being led by the younger generation, in this case people under 25 years old. Two-thirds of that age cohort said they use Instagram for gathering news information. The same age group reported that they were two times more likely to look at news on social media apps.

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Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

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Facebook leads with 36% of social media consumers using the social media giant for consuming news. YouTube had 21% of social media users looking at news on the popular video site. WhatsApp had 16% of consumers in that group and 12% used Twitter. Facebook owns both Instagram and WhatsApp.

In this time of political and social upheavals, it is interesting to note that the Reuters study (conducted by YouGov, a research agency) only found 14% of people in the US trusted news on social media compared to 22% in regard to news gathered from search engines. Also, as further evidence of the power of social media in driving news to consumers, social media as a news source, saw ongoing growth with news consumers, unlike platforms such as all online sources combined, TV, and print.

Will Rogers

Actor and humourist Will Rogers

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When thinking about what we know about the news and where we get our news, I reflect back on Will Rogers’ famous quote: “All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.”

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New Report Finds that 62% of Facebook Users Encounter Scams in the App Every Week [Infographic]

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New Report Finds that 62% of Facebook Users Encounter Scams in the App Every Week [Infographic]

How often do you encounter scams via email, social media, etc.?

According to new data from cybersecurity firm Lookout, around 62% of Facebook users encounter scams every week, while scam activity ramps up in the holidays – so it’s time to hone your senses to ensure that you don’t fall victim over the coming weeks.

Lookout’s survey, which incorporates responses from over 1,000 online consumers, also found that:

  • 19% of social media users have fallen victim to scams on Facebook
  • The most frequent scam encountered on Facebook is ‘Win a Free Prize/ Free Gift’
  • 46% of social media scam victims report losing $100 or more 

Scammers are always evolving their tactics, and shifting strategies to capitalize on the latest trends, so you need to keep your wits about you. If something seems too good to be true, it very likely is, while you should also note telltale security signs (eCommerce site not using HTTPS) and conduct your own web research if things feel off.

You can read the full report from Lookout here, or take a look at the infographic summary below.

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