Oct 16, 2018

Pre-installed apps are reshaping the web traffic universe

Illustration: Caresse Haaser, Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook and Twitter are declining as news and media referral sources on mobile, according to a report from traffic analytics company Chartbeat, which finds that users are increasingly using search for news as well as migrating to publisher and news aggregation apps.

Why it matters: The increase of social media distribution on smartphones meant that more people generally had access to more news and information than ever before, but a lot of it was unvetted, one-sided or outright false.

Between the lines: Three market forces are pushing news traffic to come from places other than traditional forms of social media...

  1. Facebook's January 2017 decision to begin distributing less news, which is pushing more people to access news traffic from sources directly via search.
  2. A commitment to higher-quality news aggregation services from device manufacturers.
  3. A narrative around fake news on social media that's pushing consumers to look elsewhere for authoritative news and information.

The big picture: Since January 2017, per Chartbeat...

  • Twitter and Facebook have declined in their share of traffic sent to news sites.
  • Facebook traffic to publishers is down so much (nearly 40%) that according to Chartbeat, "a user is now more likely to find your content through your mobile website or app than from Facebook."
  • Google Search on mobile has grown more than 2x, helping guide users to stories on publishers' owned and operated channels.
  • Direct mobile traffic to publishers's websites and apps has also steadily grown by more than 30%.
  • Flipboard has grown 2x in news referrals. It is the default news app on Samsung devices in the United States.
  • Google News (Mobile) has grown 3x since May 2018. It is the default app on "Stock" Android devices globally.
  • Apple News has grown, although it's unclear how much. It is the default news aggregator on iOS with certain products in the U.S., UK and Australia.

The bottom line: At a high-level, it's an example of how new technologies can be partially regulated by market pressure (and threats of democratic government regulation) over time.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 664,695 — Total deaths: 30,847 — Total recoveries: 140,156.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 124,464 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by late Saturday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Trump rules out quarantine in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut after pushback

President Trump on the White House grounds on Saturdya. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Saturday night that he's decided not to introduce quarantine enforcement measures fo New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, but a "strong" travel advisory will be issued for those states. The CDC later announced domestic travel restrictions for the states.

Why it matters: Trump said hours earlier he was considering quarantine measures to combat the rise in novel coronavirus cases. But he received pushback, notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who told CNN such a measure would cause "chaos." "This would be a federal declaration of war on states," Cuomo added.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health