Internet-based mobile messaging service Whatsapp has grown up as one of the major and powerful force in news media apparently at the cost of its owner Facebook, according to a new report. “We`ve been tracking the growth of WhatsApp for some time but its use for news has jumped significantly in the last year to 15 percent, with considerable country-based variation,” said the authors of the Digital News Report 2017.
More than half of respondents (54%) use social media as a source of news, according to the YouGov online survey conducted with 70,000 people in 36 countries. More than one in ten (14%) now say social media is their main source. But 33% said they can’t rely on the news they see to be true.
We have reached a stage in life that WhatsApp has become an essential form of interaction. Its extensive roots can be found across all age groups, especially teenagers. Today’s youth spends hours in the virtual world, mostly during evenings and night-time.
By contrast, sharing news stories and chatting about news piece appears to be on the rise within private instant messaging apps, and WhatsApp in particular.
According to the report, WhatsApp is now the second most popular social service for news in nine of the 36 locations, and the third most popular platform in a further five countries.