Social Networks takes over Search Engines in Online News Distribution

In a new study about the news consumption and sharing habits of its international readership, CNN found that 43% of online news sharing occurs via social media networks and tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and My Space followed by e-mail (30%), SMS (15%) and instant messenger (12%).

As publishers and marketers well know, a small group of influencers is generally responsible for driving the spread of news. The study found that 27% of frequent sharers (those who share at least six stories per week) account for the online distribution of 87% of all news stories. The average consumer of online news content shares 13 stories per week and receives 26 stories via social media and/or e-mail. This proclivity for online sharing has contributed to an overall increase of news consumption in the U.S., another recent study from the Pew Research Center revealed.

Ongoing news stories make up the majority (65%) of shared content, followed by breaking news (19%) and items CNN identified as either “quirky or funny.” Thematically, content defined as “visually spectacular” performs best in terms of shares, as well as science, technology, money and human interest stories.


Motivations for sharing content varies by region, the study found. North American and European readers tend to redistribute stories they think friends, families and co-workers will find useful, while readers from the Asia-Pacific region are more likely to share items that reinforce their own beliefs and identities.


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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

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