We have seen protests lately and witnessed the spread of information in the uprisings of the Middle East where social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have been used as powerful political tool. Looking at what happened in the past months in Egypt, Syria or Turkey, we know now that Facebook and Twitter have a big political weight. Just take a look Turkey, it is the fourth largest community of Facebook users in the world. As I am originally from Turkey, I see the impact of Facebook sharing of political views on Facebook especially during important political moments. The sharing of articles from popular journalist are very common and you see a big increase to newspaper links during heated political situations such as elections. Social media started out in Turkey exactly like in the United States and Europe mostly to keep in touch with friends. However, we do see a change and it is becoming an important voice in highly censored internet nation.

It is not surprising to see newspaper website traffic is on the rise in Europe, and how Facebook is helping those sites to grow. According to new data from comScore, Turkish newspapers Hürriyet and Milliyet ranked among the top five Newspaper properties, drawing 9.5 million unique visitors and 8.8 million unique visitors, respectively. The Daily Mail’s website Mail Online proved the most popular newspaper site, with 17,206,000 unique visitors throughout June, The Guardian and Bild took second and third place. In June 2011, a total of 167.2 million unique visitors went to Newspaper properties in Europe (up 11 percent from a year ago), spending 40.5 minutes on average during the month. The most visited Newspaper property in Europe was the British Daily Mail, drawing 17.2 million unique visitors who each spent an average of 25.9 minutes on the site. The Daily Mail also currently ranks as the second most popular Newspaper site worldwide.

 

In the mean time, comscore announced that the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Turkey continued to show the highest average engagement, with users from these markets spending an average of more than 31 hours online in the past month. Most people watch online videos from media sites, and Google is still the largest source of outside traffic. But the second largest source of traffic is now Facebook. It looks like more and more people spend longer hours online watching videos and reading newspaper.
Do you think the role of social media is changing in our lives? Do you think these on-line newspaper readership have an effect on the print sales? I think it is still too early to come to conclusion on print sales but we can clearly see the importance of Facebook and it’s effect on the spreading of the news online.