According to a report from the Reuters Institute, WhatsApp is increasingly being used a news platform. People use it both to send and read news on a wide range of topics, from politics to entertainment.
The numbers are still not huge, but they are growing fast. For instance, 23% of respondents said that they already use messaging apps like WhatsApp to read news, and 15% said that WhatsApp is their preferred platform for news consumption.
The percentages obviously vary according to the penetration of WhatsApp in the country in question. For instance, in countries like Brazil and Malaysia where the messaging app has a huge penetration almost 50% of the respondents said they used the app to receive news, while only 3% of US respondents said so.
This only strengthens the trend that people are no longer using traditional channels like print newspapers to get their news. Social media and social networks have witnessed a huge spike in news consumption lately. Here’s a quote from the report:
With data covering more than 30 countries and five continents, this research is a reminder that the digital revolution is full of contradictions and exceptions. Countries started in different places, and are not moving at the same pace. These differences are captured in individual country pages that can be found towards the end of this report. They contain critical industry context written by experts – as well as key charts and data points.
If you consider smartphones as a whole, including mobile Internet browsing, messaging apps and news apps, you can already say that 50% of respondents use the device for consuming news.
While some of these numbers certainly make publishers happy, as they have more channels to reach their audiences, there is one that they won’t like: ad-blocking apps and software keeps getting more adoption! As much as 21% of desktop users said that they use such software. On mobile the number is still small, 7%, but growing.
The takeaway is that with the advance of smartphones, mobile connectivity, social media and messaging apps, the behaviors of most consumers is changing fast. Businesses need to stay on top of those changes if they want to keep their customers engaged and satisfied!Recommended for you: Is Apple Releasing Chatbots for iPhone and Messages?