SWS: Facebook next to TV as Filipinos' top source of news

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 30) — One in every five Filipino adults use Facebook to consume news, ditching traditional media such as radio and newspaper, a survey by the Social Weather Stations said.

The poll, conducted from March 28 to 31, found that 21 percent of Filipino adults, or an estimated 13.9 million individuals, use Facebook daily as a source of news.

Only 15 percent or about 9.7 million Filipino adults consume news by listening to radio while 2 percent or only a million read newspapers daily.

Television, according to the survey results, is the top source of news in the country--with 60 percent of Filipino adults or about 40 million individuals getting news through it.

SWS said news consumption through Facebook is "positively related to educational attainment."

"Half of adult Facebook members who are college (49%) and high school graduates (49%) read the news daily using the social media site. This is higher compared to 37% among elementary graduates and 36% among non-elementary graduates," it said.

Political and social purposes

Of about 30.4 million Filipino adults who have at least one social media account, 31 percent or an estimated 9.4 million individuals "like" or promote political or social issues-related posts shared by others.

Meanwhile, 14 percent use social media to follow political figures, six percent post their own thoughts on political or social issues, five percent repost political or social content shared by other users, and four percent share links to political stories. Only two percent use social media to "encourage other people to take action on important political or social issues" while one percent urge other people to vote.

Users' demography

The survey also found that Facebook is the most popular social media site in the Philippines, with 99 percent of adults who use internet or about 30.3 million individuals using the platform. Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and Viber trail, respectively.

Younger and more educated individuals account for a big chunk of Facebook users in the country, the SWS said.

About 7.3 million or 86 percent of Filipinos on the social media platform are 18-24 years old. College graduates, meanwhile, account for 78 percent or 5.9 million individuals of Filipino Facebook members.

Having a Facebook account is more common among urban dwellers than rural dwellers. A majority 56% of adults in urban areas (est. 15.3 million individuals) are on Facebook, compared to 38% in rural areas (est. 15.1 million individuals) [Chart 7].

By major geographic areas, the proportion of adults with Facebook account is highest in Metro Manila at 64% (est. 5.8 million individuals). This is followed by balance of Luzon at 48% (est. 14.4 million individuals), Mindanao at 39% (est. 5.8 million individuals), and the Visayas at 33% (est. 4.2 million individuals).

The survey tapped 1,440 Filipinos whose age is at least 18 years. It has sampling error margins of ±2.6 percent for national percentages, and ±5 percent for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.