PETALING JAYA: 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% of Malaysian news consumers used WhatsApp to find, share or discuss news in a given week.
Comparatively, only 3% in the United States used the popular messaging platform.
Brazil and Chile were 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 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%), print (45%), TV (54%) and radio (15%).
The devices used for news were smartphones (65%), computers (45%) and tablets (18%).
However, only 20% of news consumers paid for online news and 27% 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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