Has Facebook Turned Into A News Site?

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Category: Social Networking, Technology, Teenagers

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I have to say, one thing I have enjoyed Facebook for over the years is the number of news articles my friends link to – for me, it has become somewhat of a newsfeed. And now, amidst reports that its teen user population is dwindling (when teens parents are on FB, it’s just not as fun), Facebook has turned to a feature that closely resembles that of another social media giant: Twitter.

After creating #hashtags in the footsteps of Twitter, the site has portioned a section of users’ home feeds to show trending news stories and topics.  Twitter’s trending feed is based on region, and Facebook wants to tailor these posts to attract a user’s attention:

To the right of your News Feed, you’ll see a list of topics that have recently spiked in popularity. The list is personalized, including topics based on things you’re interested in and what is trending across Facebook overall. Each topic is accompanied by a headline that briefly explains why it is trending. You can click on any headline to see the most interesting posts from your friends or Pages that are talking about that particular topic.”

With its younger population abandoning ship for newer apps that give the illusion of anonymity and ephemeral interactions (see my article here), Facebook is trying to find a new route to attract users and remain the top social media site.  Will Facebook succeed as a news site?  Maybe, as a recent Pew study showed that 30 percent of Americans actually get their news from Facebook.

It requires far less effort, from the user’s standpoint, to pop over to Facebook now and then than it does to bookmark four different news sites and blogs, build an old-fashioned RSS reader, or to wade into Twitter’s raging river of links, jokes, and snarky punditry. In other words, Facebook could become the USA Today of the 21st Century—but on a near-global scale, with a readership in the billions rather than the millions.”  Read more here

What about you?  Do you ever get the news from Facebook?


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