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Our Research: Instagram spreads among journalists

Based on the latest Trendlabor Mediaindex survey, the number of journalists using Instagram on a regular basis has been quadrupled since 2014, thus nearly half of the press associates are present now on the most popular photo sharing page. The proportion of Facebook users has also continued to grow, and for now practically almost all of them are visiting the site daily. However, the popularity of blogs has declined, the spirit of journalists for blogging has fallen to 23%, which is below the 2010 level, and only a third of them read this type of content on a daily basis.

This is the third time Flow PR investigates the social media usage of journalists within Trendlabor Mediaindex survey. The research is carried out every four years and examines the awareness of each channel, the regularity of their use and the development of the discretion of social media. Comparing the results, it turns out that until 2014 the usage of Facebook for work purposes showed the fastest spread among press workers, while the past four years were already characterized by the spread of Instagram.

Both the number of those who are familiar with different community platforms and regular users have grown the most dynamically in the case of Instagram: compared to the previous 25%, nowadays nearly two-thirds of the journalists have declared themselves aware of the functions and operation of photo sharing. Even more spectacularly increased the number of those who use Instagram several times a week, this number fourfold since 2014, and now nearly half of media professionals have become regular users of the channel. The effect of this phenomenon can also be observed in the case of press releases of which primary source was posts or stories published on Instagram. With such materials, besides online news sites, we can meet more and more often in the most popular television evening news.

“The toolbox of journalists has been expanded with a new social media site beside Facebook, and this is Instagram. Over the past four years, the number of users of this photo-sharing site has grown spectacularly among press associates, and we expect this trend to continue further within the next period.” commented the survey results Botond Sajti, Managing Partner of FLOW PR.

The increase of proportion of journalists who are visiting Facebook daily has been continued, which has now exceeded 95% compared to the previous 87%. Awareness of Facebook and Youtube, and the number of their registered users have not changed significantly, since both numbers reached their potential peak in 2014.The number of regular visitors of LinkedIn has begun to grow, but still only one-fifth of the press associates enters this interface at least a few times per week.

There has been a turn in journalistic interest for blogs, the significant increase between 2010 and 2014 has been followed by a downturn in the past four years. The number of those who read blogs on a daily basis has been decreased from the half to third, and the fifth of the respondents do not read any kind of these content. While in 2014 the third of journalists wrote one or even more blogs, by now this rate is hardly 23%, which is below the 2010 level. However, there is no change in making comments: four-fifths of the respondents write comments to blog posts rarely or not at all.

Journalists continue to be very active in sharing various content: nine out of ten share links, pictures, videos, and documents with their friends on social media platforms or via email.

The perception of the relation between conventional media and social media has not changed significantly compared to 2014: still every second journalist believes that the role of traditional- and social media are equally important in mass media.

About Trendlabor Mediaindex survey

The purpose of this research, which was carried out for the third time and conducted by FLOW PR is to investigate how journalists use social media during work and in their free time. The first survey was conducted in 2010, the second one in 2014. Data collection was managed between 2 and 29 October 2018 using an online questionnaire. Nearly 200 journalists contributed to the survey from the newsrooms of public, economic, tabloid, lifestyle, and thematic media (real estate, health, IT, etc.).


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