Thursday, February 4, 2010

Will Facebook Become a News Portal?

Is Facebook encouraging direct distribution of news content? Yes. Will it become an important "news portal"? That's hard to say, yet. But there is no question more news is appearing on Facebook, and that Facebook is encouraging that trend.

"Your friends on Facebook help you cut through the clutter so you can read what's most relevant to you, discover new items and carry on thoughtful discussions," says the Facebook blog.

"Just as your friends can post news throughout the day, so do many news outlets," Facebook says. By connecting with friends' Facebook Pages, users can stay updated and interact with outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian and CNN, CBS Evening News and CNBC, Facebook suggests.

"At any given time, the news on your home page can consist of celebrity gossip posted by your sister, sports scores from the ESPN Page, and a political debate among your friends as they cite their favorite blogs," Facebook notes. "With so much information at your fingertips on one site, Facebook can serve as your personalized news channel.

By way of comparison, Google Reader recently accounted for .01 percent of upstream visits to news and media websites Google News accounted for 1.39 percent of visits and Facebook 3.52 percent.

In fact, Facebook recently was the fourth-largest source of visits to news sites, after Google, Yahoo! and msn.

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