Monday 26 June 2017

WhatsApp Rises as a Major Force in News Media


WhatsApp - Purpose of News

According to a study, WhatsApp is said to be one of the most prevailing means wherein individuals can discover and discuss various topics. However the utilisation of messaging app seems to differ extensively among countries. Over 50% of those surveyed in Malaysia had informed that they utilised WhatsApp for the purpose of news at least once a week.

 However in the US, the figure was said to be around 3% while in the UK it was considered to be 5%. It had also been indicated by the Digital News Report that the Brexit debate had led to mounting mistrust of the media of UK. It stated that around 43% of respondents had declared that the news could be trusted, down from last year to around 5% with BBC disapproved for having a pro-EU bias as well as failing to uncover the `distortions’ of the leave campaign.

Research had been conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism which had covered 34 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia besides Taiwan and Hong Kong which had been sponsored by the BBC and Google among others. In January and February, an estimate of around 71,805 had been questioned by YouGov to generate its data. Facebook still tends to lead though WhatsApp seems to be on the rise, and percentage of people utilising individual service at least once a week.

Facebook – Most Well-known Social Media/Messaging Service

The results indicated that Facebook tends to be the most well-known social media and messaging service for new engagement in all, though two countries namely Japan and South Korea wherein YouTube and Kakao Talk tend to dominate. However it adds that the utilisation of Facebook for the purpose of news had dropped in over half of the territories with the possibility of year-on year comparison. Sharing new stories by contrast as well as chatting regarding them seems to be increasing with private instant messaging apps especially in the case of WhatsApp.

As per a report, WhatsApp is said to be now the second most well-known social service for information in nine of the 36 areas as well as the third most famous platform in further five countries. Numerous prospective clarifications have been provided by the journalists for the rise of WhatsApp. The use of its end-to-end encryption means that messages can be seen only by their senders and recipients, providing users with the protection from being scrutinized by the authorities.

Nic Newman one of the authors of the study had commented that some of the biggest growth seen is in places like Turkey where it is positively risky for people to express anti-government preferences on open networks like Facebook.

Share-to-WhatsApp Button

As a consequence, people tend to use closed groups where they are more confident of expressing their views. WhatsApp has also profited from the circumstance that in much of Latin America together with other mobile networks have been providing unlimited data usage within the program has encouraged its use.

Moreover, numerous Spanish as well as Chilean media channels have incorporated the app and radio stations usually request listeners to send short voice recordings through the service. Local news site have also included share-to-WhatsApp button to their pages. Mr Newman however had stated that beyond that it could be complex for the media to take benefit of the popularity of the app further than publishing stories which people would prefer to share.

He had explained that one can set up branded areas or group of people on their own though it would be extremely heavy and time consuming and there seems to be few tools for assistance.

Digital News Report

He further added that part of the appeal of WhatsApp is that users do not get interrupted by brands, thus making it a pure kind of messaging which is something its developers would really tend to hold to. The report had also highlighted the widespread concerns regarding the so-called `fake news’.

It stressed on the suspicions of the users that the lack of rules and use of viral algorithms of social media had supported low-quality false stories to spread around rapidly. However, they have stated that there tends to be a strong distrust of the mainstream media especially in Asian and central, southern as well as eastern European countries where industry is seen as being closely linked to the government.

 The Digital News Report this year is said to be even more sobering than normal. Several of the institutions in the West, which tend to contribute to democracy, have been going through a crisis of trust and new providers are not exempted. The citizens of UK’s trust in news in general have dropped by 7% since the referendum of Brexit according to report which is a cause for worry.


Internet – Daily General News – Common Commodity

The combination of Reuter’s revelations that the proportion of people have been paying for online news in the UK seems to be `among the lowest of all the countries which had been surveyed and is a cause for alarm. One of the reasons could be the BBC, whose control in news ecosystem could mean the less people feel the need to pay for good news.

The link for a new generation between high-quality general news together with payment for the news could be violation. Due to the internet, the daily general news has become a very common commodity. With the help of tech giants such as Facebook and Google having more of the advertising share, news providers could find they have to specialise if they need to get audience to gain revenue and these audiences would not agree to pay for content which are not trustworthy.

Gaining back that trust in a period of digital echo chambers together with false news would be difficult though it needs to be done. Yahoo News is said to be the most famous online news brand with regards to the number of people utilising it at least once in a week all over the 36 markets all together. Moreover it also tends to rank as the top online provider of online news in the US, Taiwan and Japan.

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