Facebook is increasingly moving towards positioning itself as a global platform for news consumption. Sweden is no exception. As of this year’s first quarter, every other Swede consumes news via the social media giant.
During the year’s first quarter, 49 percent of Swedes in ages 15 to 74 responded that they consumed news via Facebook during an average day. This makes Facebook one of the biggest platforms for news in terms of daily reach. Only the leading evening news paper, Aftonbladet, can note reach on similar level.
Last year, Facebook launched “Instant Articles”, allowing media houses to publish news and articles directly in the platform’s news feed. In Sweden, several big players, such as Aftonbladet, Expressen and Sydsvenskan, have signed up. Exactly what level of impact the feature has gotten is unclear, but there is no doubt that the user base exists. To read news articles is one of the most common activities on Facebook among Swedes. But equally common is watching video clips and using the messaging service, “Messenger”.
To fill the service with content, video has clearly become one of Facebook’s focus areas. Not least in order to position Facebook as a news platform. In Sweden, news is the second biggest content genre for video on Facebook, only beaten by humor clips. Recently, the platform also launched the new streaming service “Facebook Live”, making it possible to broadcast live video through the mobile phone. The company has already started to collaborate with several media houses around the new feature.
– Facebook has increasingly moved from a position as a social network towards becoming a media company. The focus on video is particularly interesting. The company has certainly got the reach to take on actors like Youtube. The big challenge for Facebook is the same as for any player within media – how to generate revenue on digital content. It is a key issue, not least for news journalism. That is one of many reasons why it is so exciting to follow new features such as Instant Articles and Facebook Live, says Marie Nilsson, CEO Mediavision.
Chart, see attached file.