We’ve spent some time recently looking at how Facebook has become a bigger driver of traffic to online news than news portals like MyYahoo or Google News, and our initial suspicions were confirmed with some data by the folks at HitWise.
In continuing to look at this trend, Heather Hopkins, an analyst with the traffic analysis company, dug a little bit deeper into the stats and found that there is a distinct difference between where the social network drives its traffic in comparison to Google News.
According to Hopkins, Facebook sends nearly three times as much of its downstream traffic to broadcast media websites as compared to Google News.
Hopkins breaks down the top 10 news and media websites visited from both Google News and Facebook. The Google News list reads pretty much like a roster of the old guard, leading off with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Reuters before finally hitting the first broadcast media outlet, CNN.com. Facebook, on the other hand, starts right off with The Weather Channel and CNN.com before getting to Yahoo! News. As a matter of fact, not one of the top 10 media and news outlets on Facebook’s list are a traditional print media outlet.
If we get rid of the two weather sites and People magazine, all we’re really left with are three big broadcast media outlets – CNN, MSNBC and Fox News – and news aggregators like Yahoo! News, the Drudge Report, topix and (surprise!) Google News. Does the traffic from here trickle down into the old guard, we wonder?
A key difference here might be that people are sharing news on Facebook that has an aspect of immediacy. When something big is happening in the world, some news is breaking, we might tend to look toward media outlets where we expect to find breaking news – broadcast media. Broadcast media have been handling news on a continuing 24 hour cycle for a while and, while print media have certainly changed to adopt this never ending cycle, we may still look to broadcast media first for these stories.