WhatsApp surging as popular new sharing media
People have increasing been losing trust in mainstream news media. Issues like BREXIT have brought down trust on media from 50% to 43% this year. Social media has become the new news media for now. Private IM apps have particularly been the news sharing medium for people across the globe.
WhatsApp is on the rise
WhatsApp has become a force in news sharing lately. Its popularity as news sharing medium varies from country to country. In Malaysia more than 50% of people use the app to see news once a week. Whereas in the US and UK, it scores only 3% and 5%. However some surge in popularity can be felt within such short stint.
Facebook leads the way
People use Facebook more for messaging and news than any other social media or IM application. It is closely followed by Google owned YouTube. Third in the list is WhatsApp, followed by Twitter, FB messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat. Viber and WeChat are the other private IM apps in the top 10.
Counties which use WhatsApp as leading news source
Countries like Malaysia, Brazil, Chile and Singapore has been using WhatsApp as leading news source. Though the IM app lacks authenticity for news shared by users, people don’t seem to be too concerned. WhatsApp is the second most popular new sharing service in 9 other countries. It is the third most popular platform in another 5 countries. Distrust in media has overshadowed the fake news issue in social media. Viral algorithms if employed can help cheap false stories to spread quickly.
Reasons behind WhatsApp’s surge
End to end encryption in WhatsApp makes sure only sender and receiver have access to message. You stand safe against monitoring from authorities in places where expressing antigovernment sentiments is risky.
Several media outlets themselves promote the app. Radio stations nudge listeners to send their recordings via WhatsApp. Its already existing popularity helps it to gain a little monopoly in instant messaging arena. Local news websites add a ‘share via WhatsApp’ button too.