Since the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook has come under fire for the rise of so-called “fake news,” an issue the company is correcting, albeit with mixed success. Despite its efforts, the social network has seen a significant drop in people using it for news, as messaging apps, including Facebook-owned WhatsApp, become more prevalent for news consumption.
The Digital News Report notes that social media, and Facebook in particular, has seen a sharp drop in news consumption globally, as well as in the US. “News consumption via Facebook is down 9 percentage points in the United States and 20 points with younger groups,” Nic Newman, a research associate with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, wrote in the report’s overview.
Newman continued: “In our urban Brazilian sample the use of Facebook for news has fallen to 52 percent — a 17 point change from 2016.”
The report was quick to add that the decline is not universal, with Facebook news usage rising in countries like Malaysia and the Czech Republic, “but in most countries the picture is one of decline.”
Facebook recently announced it was funding news shows on its Facebook Watch platform, including one from Fox News, known as “Fox News Update.”