Social networks

In terms of time spent on any media, social media are second after television, with Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter leading in usage. About two thirds of Americans get some news on social media, and many news organisations produce news specifically for social media sites, often entering into partnership with social media companies to facilitate this. Facebook is by far the most important in the flow of news, with 45 percent of the population getting some news on the site in 2017, followed by Youtube (18 percent), Twitter (11 percent), Instagram (7 percent) Snapchat (5 percent), Linkedin (5 percent) and Reddit (4 percent). Social media are important vehicles for political communication as well, with President Trump’s Tweets driving much news coverage and political discussion. Facebook's dominance as a means by which increasing parts of the audience access news has led many media to attempt to work with them, and Facebook has programs to facilitate this. After it introduced Facebook Live, for example, for about a year it offered subsidies to some media companies to produce content for the platform. These kinds of arrangements with Facebook have not, however, been particularly successful for many media companies; Mashable and BuzzFeed, for example, which were particularly active producing content for Facebook, have not been immune from the trend toward downsizing. At the beginning of 2018 Facebook announced changes in its algorithm that are likely to de-emphasize news content, and it is possible that in the long run Facebook will not prove a reliable way for news organisations to reach audiences.