To finish up our series on social media usage, today we take a look at the growing demand for news content on social.

On Monday we explored how social media has evolved from a place to share content to a place to consume content. Networking behaviors are becoming more orientated around fulfilling activities that have traditionally lain outside ofthe social media arena. One of the biggest transitions seen is the spread of news content across social networks.

Globally, half of internet users say that keeping up with news and current events is a very important reason for using the internet. This figure has remained steady over the past few years, but it’s clear that an increasing share of these people are heading to social to get the news updates they want. Over the past two years alone, the numbers keeping up with news and current events via social has risen from 37% to 41%.

This is a trend that holds true across the world regions. North America and Europe are especially driving this and in the former there’s been a 9 percentage-point increase in the numbers using social for news updates. In the Middle East & Africa, pretty much everyone who is looking for news content online (54%) is using social to do so (47%).

The shift in social behaviors actually presents some opportunities for brands and marketers. With less content creation but more content consumption, brands can fill a gap – especially with content that surrounds news stories and current events. For example, the upcoming World Cup and Royal Wedding will offer great opportunities for content creation, in addition to the breaking news that social media has become crucial in the distribution of.

To find out more about social media behaviors, download a free summary of our new flagship Social report here.

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Written by

Katie is a Strategic Insights Manager at GlobalWebIndex. Moving to the company 4 years ago, Katie heads up the Strategic Insights team, overseeing the production of bespoke assets for clients. Katie also writes on GlobalWebIndex’s blog, with a particular interest in social media and marketing.

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