Facebook got more hits than Google search last week. There are some big lessons in there for news: increasingly this is how people encounter it – not via a “web site” (get hip, daddio), let alone a “home page” (where’s your STEREO, grandad), or even via search (That is so 2009).
They find it via social media. It is the first place they go in the morning (maybe after the bathroom, maybe not) and the last thing at night. facebook users prefer broadcast media (video and audio), says Hitwise in a separate piece of research. “A colleague pointed me to an article in the New York Times suggesting that social networks are creating a water cooler effect,” writes Hitwise’s Heather Hopkins, “and actually boosting viewership of broadcast media. Is Facebook the new water cooler and if so, how can print media capitalize on this trend?”
“Does this mean that social sites are going to overtake search sites on the internet? Not so fast … we might be seeing a see-sawing back and forth. In 2007 it was MySpace that was ahead of Google,” says one blogger. And these things do go up and down; social media has its moments and may be absorbed into different trends. Nonetheless – broadcast has cleaerly done a better job than print of responding to this. Oh, and Twitter is far less significant on this scale, by the way, despite the fond hopes of old media.