Facebook is Losing People to WhatsApp for News Consumption

A shift in Facebook-WhatsApp usage discovered in a recent study, finds people are moving away from the former to the latter, along with other platforms…

People are using Facebook less and less to find and share news and other sites, like WhatsApp, more and more. At least, that’s what the numbers bear out in a new study. Facebook usage dropped by 9 percent from 2017 to 2018 in the United States, according to research conducted by Oxford University’s Reuters Institute. This was particularly true with younger users, which declined significantly, by 20 percent.

Facebook-WhatsApp Usage Shifting, Study Finds

Facebook news consumption  fell globally by 6 percent from 2016 until now. Meanwhile, WhatsApp experienced a 4 percent increased during that same time period. Additionally, Snapchat and Instagram grew by 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively. 

Snapchat has made some moves to improve its traffic. Although, some have been quite controversial with users. For instance, Snapchat launched a redesign of its app back in January and users hated the makeover. Surprisingly, Snapchat app downloads actually increased after its redesign debacle.

However, even though Snapchat pioneered the ephemeral format, Instagram Stories dominates it. Plus, recent data shows that teens prefer Snapchat and YouTube over Facebook and Instagram.

The Reuters Institute also found that people prefer the privacy of messaging services. Therefore, they share more content on such platforms. Conversely, the study found Facebook users felt more uncomfortable about the growth in the number of connected “friends.” Meaning, there are little to no actual relationships. So, they are less likely to find and share news on the social network.

Facebook continues to experience problems with highly important user metrics. For instance, users are sharing less original content on the site. To combat such trends, Facebook has introduced a number of gimmicks to engage users. It also started a campaign to prioritize “meaningful social interactions” over “relevant content.”

Facebook owns both Instagram and WhatsApp.

Owen E. Richason IV

Owen is blog content writer, SEO consultant, social media marketer, and website guy. His work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, on Business.com, Tampa Bay Business and Financier, AOL and numerous other blogs and websites. is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.