YouTube?s in, Facebook?s out.
Google?s video streaming platform is catching up to Facebook as the most popular
social media platform for news in the U.S.,a new report finds
According to a 2020 digital news report the Reuters Institute published on
Tuesday, the number of Americans who use Facebook for news decreased by 4
percent from last year. YouTube, on the other hand, saw a 4 percent increase.
Overall, 35 percent Americans use Facebook for news while 24 percent use
The number of Americans who use Facebook and YouTube for news decreased and
increased by 4 percent, respectively.The report came amid ongoing debates over
how social media platforms should handle misinformation in light of the
coronavirus pandemic, the imminent presidential election, and the mass social
unrest around systemic racism and police killings.
Whereas Facebook has been?continuously?criticized?for allowing disinformation
and conspiracy theories to sow discord?within Facebook Groups?and?through
political ads, YouTube has made?significant progress?in reducing misinformation
and conspiratorial content by tweaking its recommendation algorithms,?barring
misleading content, andfact-checking
This platform shift in news consumption is not just local to the U.S., though.
In fact, the average news consumption across 12 countries ??including the U.K.,
the U.S., Germany, France, Japan, and Brazil ? has steadily decreased on
Facebook and increased on YouTube since 2016. (The Reuter Institute surveyed
nationally representative groups of about 2000 people from 40 countries via the
online questionnaires at the end of January and the beginning of February.)
At the same time, Facebook has become the most distrusted social platform across
40 countries, with 29 percent of all 80,000-plus survey respondents expressing
concern about false or misleading information on the platform. Within the U.S.,
that number rises to 35 percent.
Only 5 percent of Americans expressed similar concerns about YouTube in
Still, as visual-oriented platforms increasingly gain traction as news sources,
Facebook ? the company that owns not only its namesake social media platform,
but also WhatsAppandInstagram ? ?remains overall dominant in the social media
?By allowing Instagram and WhatsApp to develop separately, Facebook as a company
has been able to cater for many different demographics and try new formats,
without losing its core loyalists,? the report writes.
Instagram?s influence as a news destination is ?increasing significantly? while
YouTube slowly closes in on Facebook as the most popular social platform for
YouTube may have the lead over Instagram for now, but the Facebook-affiliate is
lurking and catching up from behind.