Malaysia tops WhatsApp news usage

WhatsApp has already started a pilot programme that would feature a green badge next to a business contact, indicating that the business was verified by the messaging service.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is the global leader for WhatsApp news usage, according to a report.

The Digital News Report 2017 by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University said 51% of news consumers in Malaysia use WhatsApp to find, share or discuss news in a given week.

Comparatively, only 3% of news consumers in the United States use the popular messaging platform.

Brazil and Chile are Malaysia’s rivals in WhatsApp news consumption at 46% and 39% respectively.

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

"Malaysia’s growing Internet penetration rate is certainly one of the main reasons why online news portals have become the medium of choice for many for a variety of news – amusing, complex, opinionated, and even political," said Zaharom Nain from the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus' Centre for the Study of Communications and Culture in the report.

The report added that the majority of Malaysian news consumers source their news online including via social media platforms (86%), print (45%), TV (54%) and radio (15%).

The top devices used for news are smartphones (65%), computers (45%), and tablets (18%).

However, only 20% of Malaysian news consumers are paying for online news and 27% use an ad-blocker.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that The Star Online has retained its position as the top news portal in Malaysia for the last months of 2016.

According to a Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) report, The Star Online maintained pole position for the month of December last year.

The Star Online was also the top news portal in November, according to an earlier report released by MDA.

The MDA report measures web activity among Malaysian Internet users.


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