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Facebook Third Largest Driver Of News Traffic

A new report has revealed that Facebook is playing a key role in driving more and more traffic to news sites.

The study was carried out by the Pew Research Center and it involved an in-depth analysis of the behaviour of the news consumers within the first nine months of 2010. The statistics for the project were provided by Nielsen Co, AFP reports.

The study looked into specific aspects of user behaviour such as how they came to news websites, how much time they spent reading the news, and where they redirect to after leaving the page.

According to the report, almost 40 percent of readers at the top 25 news sites got there from external referrals, with Google Search and Google News sending the first and second most referrals respectively.

At least five of these 25 top news sites saw a significant amount of traffic driven in by Facebook, which was the third largest referrer after Google.

Nielsen's statistics did not provide any information where the remaining 60 percent of the traffic to these news sites came from.

Referrals from Google and Facebook represent different ways of finding information online, with search results being based on an unknown algorithm, and Facebook referrals being spread directly through individuals' networks.