Social/search: US has little trust in social media news

Social/search: US has little trust in social media news

While social media giants attempt to lure news brands to their platform through a slew of new publishing products, a new study has found Americans who rely heavily on social media for news are highly sceptical of that content.

Just over half of Americans get their news from social media, with Facebook the most popular network (87 per cent of that group), followed by YouTube (21 per cent), Twitter (18 per cent) and Instagram (13 per cent).

However just 12 per cent of people who get news from Facebook say they trust in it a lot or a great deal, with the figure 18 per cent for Twitter and 23 per cent for LinkedIn.

While there is a general scepticism about news on social media, the reputation of the original news organisation that published the content is a critical factor in determining trust.

Popularity of a post, how many people shared, liked or commented on it, does little to affect trust.

Social Media trust graph

The study was conducted by the Media Insights Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research.

It also found that in the digital age, factors including the intrusiveness of ads, navigability load times, and up-to-date information are also critical in determining whether consumers consider a publisher competent and worthy of trust.

Engaging stories get boost in Facebook newsfeed changes

How long a user spends reading or watching content accessed through Facebook will now be a factor in how newsfeed items are ranked, the company announced last week.

The move could potentially reward publishers for their quality or long-form content, providing those stories with better placement in the newsfeed.

The social media giant explained the decision in a blog post, noting “liking, clicking, commenting or sharing a post doesn’t always tell us the whole story of what is most meaningful to (users)”.

In a separate development, Facebook is also testing a radical update to its news feed that would see it divided into categories such as world & US news, food and sports.

Only some Facebook users experienced the trial newsfeed and it is unclear whether it will be rolled out worldwide.

“People have told us they’d like options to see more stories on Facebook around specific topics they’re interested in,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable via email.

“So we have been testing a few feeds for people to view more and different stories from people and pages based on topic areas.”

The Sun launches on Snapchat Discover

News UK tabloid The Sun has launched on Snapchat Discover, the news hub of video and photo messaging app Snapchat.

The newspaper joins Snapchat’s other media partners which include CNN, Daily Mail, Vice and National Geographic and promises to publish celebrity pictures, viral videos and “amazing real life stories”.

The move comes after The Sun dropped its paywall in November last year.

The paper’s head of strategy, Derek Brown, told Digiday that there had been a lot of soul-searching about whether it was worth being on the platform.

“I’m not even convinced that the Discover platform has proved its point of being something really monetisable yet. It’s like all these platforms. I don’t think anyone has stood up and said ‘by the way we’re making loads of money on Snapchat.’,” he said.

“Clearly there’s a massive brand building opportunity here for people who don’t read the paper or go to our site. But we want to make money out of this, we’re still a business.”

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