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Facebook news use declining, WhatsApp growing: study

AFP  |  London 

consumption is increasingly shifting from like to messaging applications like WhatsApp, according to a study published today which also found high levels of international public concern about online.

The report, which covers 37 countries in five continents, found that the use of for fell by six percentage points in the compared to last year.

"Almost all the decline is due to a decrease in the discovery, posting and sharing of news in Facebook," said Nic Newman, a founding member of the News website.

suffered its in its history when a huge data privacy breach was revealed earlier this year.

The scandal saw many users around the world opt to move away from Facebook, and to spend more time on other apps like and -- which are also owned by

The 2018 Digital News Report found that is now used for news by around half of the sample in (54 per cent) and (48 per cent) and by around a third in (36 per cent) and (30 per cent).

The report, based on a survey of over 74,000 online news consumers, found had also taken off in and South America, while progressed in and the

The report also revealed that the average level of trust in the news has remained relatively stable at 44 per cent -- a slight increase from 43 per cent last year. However, only 23 per cent said they trusted the news they find in

More than half (54 per cent) agreed or strongly agreed that they were concerned about what is real and fake on the Internet.

The rate was highest in at 85 per cent and lowest in the at 30 per cent.

The survey found that a majority of respondents believed publishers and platforms have the biggest responsibility to fix the problem of fake and unreliable news.

Some 60 per cent of respondents in Europe, 63 per cent in and 41 per cent in the believed that their governments should do more to stop "fake news".

The report also found that podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular way of accessing news, with 33 per cent of respondents in the United States and 18 per cent in Britain making use of them.

It found that in Britain, and the United States, around half of those polled who have voice-activated digital assistants like Echo and Home use them to receive news.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 18:45 IST