The use of social media for news has started to fall in a number of key markets after years of continuous growth, according to the 2018 Digital News Report. The report, which covers 37 countries in five continents, reveals that usage is down six percentage points in the United States, and is also down in the UK and France.
Almost all of the decline is due to a decrease in the discovery, posting, and sharing of news in Facebook. At the same time, there has been a rise in the use of messaging apps for news as consumers look for more private (and less confrontational) spaces to communicate.
WhatsApp is now used for news by around half of the sample of online users in Malaysia (54%) and Brazil (48%) and by around third in Spain (36%) and Turkey (30%).
The 2018 Digital News Report, which is based on an online survey of 74,000 people, includes findings on trust, misinformation - or so-called ‘fake news’ - television viewing trends, podcasting, adblockers and voice-activated assistants. For the first time the report also includes news literacy, and brand trust.