Facebook: All the News Socially

March 27, 2014

I read “STUDY: Facebook’s Role In Pew Research Center’s ‘State Of The News Media 2014’/” The source is a research project from Pew Research Center. The sample, well, who knows? The finding fascinating, particularly to advertisers, news professionals, and old people like me sitting around the cast iron stove in Harrod’s Creek, Kentucky.

Here it is:

30 percent of the sample get their [sic] news from Facebook.

The survey seems to have been completed in mid 2013, which may be important in the wake of Facebook’s interest in virtual reality.

The write up highlights six “Facebook-related findings.” I don’t want to spoil your fun by listing the listicle of the six factoids. I want to point out three of these insights:

  1. Three out of every 10 US adults get “some news while on Facebook.”
  2. The news is “shared by friends.”
  3. The demographics of the Facebook news consumers “were high earners and college educated.”

My thought is that social news is not something a traditional newspaper like my former employer the Courier Journal & Louisville Times considers a native habitat. The idea that social news is news is fascinating. With tools to generate disinformation, misinformation, and reformation, figuring out what’s accurate may be difficult for a Facebooker.

I assume that a Walter Cronkite of social media news will emerge. Advertisers are likely to sniff the edges of the Pew information and conclude, “Opportunity.” Experiencing Facebook as news is a facet of the service that has the potential to be disruptive. Which traditional network will run the Facebook news hour? Will Thomson Reuters and the BBC add a Facebook stream? Opportunities abound.

Stephen E Arnold, March 27, 2014


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