More than a third of adults in the UK admit to using social networking site Facebook as their primary means for reading the news and staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the world.
New research on behalf of Compare Cover, the life insurance comparison website, shows that 36% of Brits use Facebook purely to keep on top of current affairs and trending topics in the news, media & content, rather than turning to newspapers or online news sites.
Confirming that the scope of social networking sites continues to expand, it seems that the world’s biggest social network is giving rise to a host of Brits who prefer to have their news stories recommended by friends and family, rather than having to go straight to the source.
Compare Cover’s Business Development Director, Mike Preston, explains: “With the term ‘fake news’ dominating the media at the moment, it’s really interesting to see that the UK public are turning towards social networking sites for their news rather than to traditional media, as they might have done previously.
“It may well be that this offers a much more tailored approach to reading the news than we’ve experienced in the past, because we know that we are more likely to be interested in stories that our peers are interested in. What’s evident from these results is that Facebook and similar sites have provided Brits with the opportunity to decide for themselves which stories hold more interest and validity than others, and can easily recommend those stories to their Facebook friends.”
The results come as part of a campaign looking at what people truly value in life from Compare Cover, which has been helping people with their insurance needs since 1999.
Alongside those making the claim, nearly half of Brits (49%) admitted to using Facebook for keeping up-to-date with others while still keeping a low profile, and a majority of 62% of respondents said they used Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends.
Of those questioned, residents in Northern Ireland and the North East were most likely to use Facebook purely to find out what other users were up to, while people in Scotland were the most likely in the UK to use it primarily for staying in touch with family and friends.
One in ten respondents admitted to using Facebook because they don’t want to miss out, with those in Northern Ireland (27%) the most concerned about not being in the loop. Meanwhile, 6% said they used the social media platform for work purposes.
On Facebook being used for keeping tabs on others, Preston adds: “Not wanting to expose yourself online is an admirable trait in many ways, as much of our personal activity is now accessible online. Safeguarding ourselves and our families in any way we can is as much a tradition in Britain as ‘Keeping up with the Jones’’ is perceived by many to be.
“But not only has the rise of digital enabled us to keep in touch with loved ones more easily, it has also made ensuring your home and family are protected against potential unforeseen events much easier too. With the rise of digital comparison platforms offering the consumer unprecedented access to a wide range of policies quickly and efficiently, it’s now possible to protect your family’s future from as little as £5 per month.