Facebook’s New Role: News Site

Checking The News

Facebook, the news site? Hitwise runs the numbers and determines that the social network is now the fourth biggest source of visits to news and media sites, after Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) and MSN, accounting for 3.52 percent of all “upstream visits.” That’s up from under 1.5 percent just a year ago–in line with the site’s big jump in membership.

It’s possible, though, that even if Facebook’s overall growth slows, its role as a news site will continue to take off. That’s in part because only now does Facebook seem intent on pitching itself as a place where users can catch up on the news. In a blog post just last week, Facebook’s Malorie Lucich hyped how the social network could be a “personalized news channel,” complete with both updates from friends as well as from news organizations with Facebook pages, and urged users to add a “news filter” to their home page feeds.

How Facebook stands up to Google News as a source of traffic to news sites:

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