The internet is becoming increasingly popular

Social networks are becoming increasingly popular as a source of news

23rd November 2015

Image: quka - Shutterstock

Social networks have now become important information channels for the latest news. This is confirmed by a new representative BITKOM survey that was carried out with 1,042 Internet users aged 14 and over in Germany. According to this, 22 percent of Internet users consume daily news via social media.

It is noticeable that the younger age group from 14 to 29, with 32 percent, often uses the social channels for these purposes. In the over 65 age group, on the other hand, it is only two percent who consume news on social networks.

Social networks more important than YouTube for news consumption

The most important channel is Facebook. 46 percent of German Internet users use this network for news consumption. This is followed by Xing with 31 percent and Twitter with 30 percent. Only 19 percent watch news programs directly on YouTube.

It is interesting to note that the results of the BITKOM survey with regard to YouTube differ significantly from a US study. According to the March 2015 study by The Media Insight Project, YouTube is the second most popular channel for news consumption in the United States.

No more incentives to click on external links

According to BITKOM, one explanation for the dominance of social networks via platforms such as YouTube or news sites lies in the new form of news consumption. 45 percent of users who consume news on social networks do so extensively and they do not leave the network in the process. According to the BITKOM survey, only 35 percent of users click links to external news or videos.

With a direct video playback in the news feed or - in the case of Facebook - via cooperation with media companies to provide articles directly in instant articles, the social media companies are offering users more and more incentives not to leave their networks. News providers are also increasingly starting to prepare their content specifically for social networks.

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