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The Star Online

Malaysia leads in WhatsApp news consumption

More than half of Malaysians find and discuss news on the app

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 September, 2017, 2:05pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 September, 2017, 2:08pm

Malaysia leads in WhatsApp news usage globally, according to a digital report.

Digital News Report 2017 by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University said 51 per cent of Malaysian news consumers used WhatsApp to find, share or discuss news in a given week.

Comparatively, only three per cent in the United States used the popular messaging platform.

Brazil and Chile were Malaysia’s rivals in WhatsApp news consumption at 46 per cent and 39 per cent respectively.

According to the report, the top social media and messaging apps fuelling Malaysian online news consumption habits are Facebook (58 per cent), WhatsApp (51 per cent), YouTube (26 per cent), WeChat (13 per cent) and Instagram (13 per cent).

“Malaysia’s growing Internet penetration rate is certainly one of the main reasons why online news portals have become the medium of choice for amusing, complex, opinionated, and even political news,” University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus’ Centre for the Study of Communications and Culture professor Zaharom Nain said.

The report pointed out that the majority of consumers sourced their news online via social media platforms (86 per cent), print (45 per cent), TV (54 per cent) and radio (15 per cent).

The devices used for news were smartphones (65 per cent), computers (45 per cent) and tablets (18 per cent).

However, only 20 per cent of news consumers paid for online news and 27 per cent used an ad blocker.

Malaysian Digital Association, in another report, also announced The Star Online has retained its position as the top news portal in the country in the last four months of 2016.

The Star Online ranked 10th among the Top 20 local web domains most visited on desktop computers, with 629,000 visitors.

The report measured web activity among Malaysian Internet users based on data from comScore Media Metrix.

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