Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Pew Study Shows Social Lags Far Behind Search In News Traffic

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 9, 2011

I've written about how social media seems to have become an amplifier for mass media because people share links to large news sites. I've called this the SoDOMM effect: Social Distribution of Mass Media.

A new Pew study has some interesting numbers on this topic. It found that Facebook users sent about 3% of the traffic to 25 news sites tracked in the study.

Twitter users were responsible for less than 1% of traffic to the news sites -- which was surprising given that there are more than 200 million accounts.

Google was responsible for more than 30% of the traffic to the news sites studied. And I know from personal knowledge, that Google search traffic can be as much as 60% of the traffic for popular tech news sites.

The report is a good reality check for boosters of social media and how it is becoming a substitute for news distribution.

There is also a lot said about how social media platforms, such as Facebook, are potential challengers to Google in search. That would be an interesting study and my guess is that the numbers would mirror those found in this Pew report.

Navigating News Online | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)


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