Social platforms in global ‘battle for attention’, finds Reuters Institute
The rise of messaging network WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in February for $19 billion, has been “particularly striking”, the institute says. In Spain, 60 per cent of the survey respondents had used the network in a given week, while 26 per cent had used it for news following experiments by traditional news providers such as El País.
WhatsApp was also found to have a strong news function in Brazil, where 15 per cent of the urban-located survey sample use it for that purpose, and in Italy, where it is used to access news by 13 per cent. In the UK, however, just 2 per cent had used it for news and only 12 per cent had used it for any purpose.
The institute describes the use of messaging apps for discovering and sharing news as an “intriguing finding” in this year’s study, the third of its kind.
Over the past year, a number of news organisations have also developed specific services for Instagram, also owned by Facebook, as a way of reaching younger audiences, it notes.
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