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Newspapers reaching millions of readers with Facebook's social news app

Facebook's social news app just might turn out to be the "the savior that traditional journalism needs," reported the International Business Times. New data shows that news outlets have seen an uptick in traffic since they started using the Facebook app.

This week Facebook released early results of its Open Graph social news app system, launched in September, that allows users to automatically share the news stories they have been reading, and to automatically see what their friends have been reading.

"The early results from social news partners are encouraging, once again showing that news sites that focus on building social and personalized news experiences will see the most dramatic increases in traffic and engagement," Facebook said.

For example, the Guardian Facebook app is bringing in 4 million active monthly users, which has increased daily website impressions by 1 million, or 12.23 percent, the newspaper said Wednesday, Nov. 30.

"As well as increasing traffic, the app is making our journalism visible to new audiences. Over half of the app's users are 24 and under - traditionally a very hard-to-reach demographic for news organizations," Andrew Miller, CEO of Guardian Media Group, said in a statement. "The Facebook app is one of a number of successful launches by the Guardian in recent months as our digital-first strategy gains momentum. We're delighted with the results."

Similarly, Yahoo News, with its 10 million app users, has seen a 600 percent jump in traffic since it launched a Facebook app, The Independent's app has 1 million users, the Washington Post's app has 3.5 million active monthly users -- with 83 percent of users under 35 years old, Facebook said.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post this week became the latest news organization to launch a social news app.

Poynter compiled six "big lessons" learned so far about using the Facebook news app, such as that "news is breaking through to young readers" and "privacy and control remain tricky issues."


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