Marco Pakoeningrat/flickr

Marco Pakoeningrat/flickr

As you might have already assumed, millennials get their news from Facebook. How do brands and news services reach the younger generation with relevant stories?

Scroll through your newsfeed for even a minute, and you’ll notice how many news stories are cropping up on it. The healthy skeptic in you might look into the validity of some of the more provocative newsflashes on your feed, but you quickly move on.

If you’re a member of the millennial generation, you probably don’t have time to both scan social media and delve into traditional news outlets like radio or newspapers. It’s convenient to get updates about your friends and about the world in one place.

The Rumors Are True

A recent study discussed by Mashable confirms the commonly-held belief that Facebook is the most dominant media force in the lives of young people. [tweetable alt=”60% of #millennials get their political news from @facebook.” hashtag=””]According to the survey, 60% of millennials get their political news from Facebook.[/tweetable]

Baby boomers prefer local news, although 30% of them rely most heavily on Facebook — a higher number than many predicted.

Fears About Facebook News

Our increasing dependence on Facebook for news is perhaps unsurprising, but it’s also a growing concern for some. One common grievance of older generations is that younger people only respond to news that’s presented in a flashy way — it’s the stories with extreme headlines and provocative pictures that seem to stick.

The seductive qualities of these posts can also distract younger viewers from their sometimes questionable validity.

Another concern expressed by baby boomers is that using Facebook as a news source encourages already existing biases.

Even though users of the site have access to a variety of sources, getting news from friends who often share similar political beliefs narrows the range of opinions they’re exposed to. Re-posting or circulating those news stories can further perpetuate one-sided views.

Skeptical Millennials

But in spite of these concerns, millennials do consider reputability of sources when consuming online news. In a recent study of the trustworthiness of news providers, millennials demonstrated varying degrees of faith in different networks, rather than a blind acceptance of recognizable names.

CNN led, trusted by 60% of respondents, followed by ABC, NBC, and CBS. Al Jazeera America came on towards the less-trusted side of the spectrum at 10%, and [tweetable alt=”Despite how much people love #newmedia, only 4% of people surveyed [email protected] trust @BuzzFeed.” hashtag=””]Buzzfeed was only trusted by 4% of the people surveyed.[/tweetable]

Clearly, Facebook is affecting the way that millennials receive information, but it’s still unclear if there are truly negative consequences to this change — after all, in most cases, consuming and posting about news online gives kids more exposure to politics than their parents ever had.

Regardless of whether the shift is positive or negative, app developers can benefit from understanding the way that short and buzzworthy messages attract the attention of young consumers.

If you’re designing an app, whether it’s for distributing news or something a little more fun, Infinite Monkeys can guide you through the process and ultimately help you succeed in reaching millennials.