Facebook’s importance as a source of news is rapidly dwindling, as per iZooto. The owned audience marketing platform designed to help publishers own, engage and retain their audience analysed 220 million visits in the last 30 days and arrived at four key digital publisher trends.
iZooto said, the Indian media and entertainment industry was valued at more than a trillion Indian rupees in 2021. Since then, this number is only set to grow in the future.
Here are the insights offered by iZooto:
1 If you have a Hindi news website, make sure it’s optimised for mobile.
India has long been a mobile-first economy. With the proliferation of budget handsets and affordable data plans, this is no surprise. 94% of India’s news is consumed using mobiles and tablets, and the remaining 6% is through desktops. By not optimising the website for mobile usage in 2022, publishers are losing out on enormous traffic.
While readers may consume more news in English than in Hindi and regional languages combined – at 53% and 47% respectively – what really stands out is the mobile/desktop breakup for each language. Only 5% of users consuming news in Hindi do so via desktop. A whopping 95% prefer to do so via mobile. For English news, the desktop-mobile split stands at 14% and 86%, respectively. Regional languages see the greatest consumption of news through the desktop, at 24%. But even here, the remaining 76% is done through mobile.
Mobile has proven itself to be the chosen medium of news consumption across every language in the country. This is especially true of Hindi. If you want your website to succeed, make sure it’s built for mobiles right from the start.
2 Google AMP is on its way out. Double down on Core Web Vitals.
In 2020, Google announced a set of metrics known as Core Web Vitals that gauged user experience offered by a page. The factors measured by these metrics include content loading speed, page responsiveness and interactivity as well as the visual stability of the screen while loading.
The widespread adoption of Chinese mobile brands in India also means that native browsers are the most popular. In fact, 59% of users access news websites from a native browser. From the remainder, Chrome on mobile takes the lion’s share in India, with 34 million readers (22%) visiting news websites through the browser. The remaining spots in the top five are taken by Facebook (3%), Safari (1.6%), and Samsung Internet (0.5%).
3 Facebook’s importance as a source of news is rapidly dwindling.
Facebook once dominated India as the source through which most people got their news. Its hold over the share of news consumption has plummeted over the years. The Facebook in-app browser no longer appears among the top three browsers for Hindi and English news consumption. Overall, news consumption through Facebook is under 2% of overall visits. It is worth noting that Facebook opens up links with its native in-app browser. Users have the choice to switch to their preferred browser such as Chrome, which may have contributed to this shift.
Chrome continues to dominate as the preferred browser through which readers consume news, cutting across languages. 75% of readers who consume regional language news do so through Chrome mobile. This is followed by Chrome on desktop and Facebook. For Hindi and English publications, Chrome, Safari, and Samsung internet make up the top three.
The publishing industry has an opportunity to adapt to these changing trends. Incorporating push notifications is an effective way to offset the risk of depending on conventional sources of traffic and build consistent repeat visitors.
4 If you have a regional news website, ensure you focus on people using iOS.
At present, 50% of regional news is consumed on Android and 32 percent is consumed on Desktop. iOS stands third in the list of operating systems used to consume regional news, at 10%. In terms of news consumption, regional content consumption is marginally higher on iOS compared to Hindi and English. Make sure your regional news website doesn’t neglect this growing audience of newsreaders – if you have an app on the Play Store, ensure there’s one on the Apple app store as well.
Changing consumption patterns and significant trends that emerge from this change opens up opportunities for content publishers in India - with its vast linguistic diversity. The role of budget devices, growing internet penetration and the use of multiple languages will continue to play a major role in how publishers could tweak their platforms to ensure their audiences continue to grow.