Facebook Links Skew to Cable Networks

3/11/2010 8:13 AM Eastern

Washington — If online tracker
Hitwise is on the mark, cable
news operations should be rooting
for Facebook as the news referrer
site of choice.

Three weeks ago, Hitwise said
that Facebook had overtaken
Google News in sending traffic to
news and media sites.

It turns out it is more than just
raw volume that cable programmers
should be looking to.

According to a new blog posting
last week, Facebook also
sends a far greater percentage of
its traffic to cable news sites than
Google News, which tends to send
more traffic to print outlets.

CNN received 5.92% of its traffic from Facebook two weeks ago,
compared to 1.77% from Google
News. Fox News had similar results:
5.50% of its traffic came
from Facebook and only 1.18%
from Google News.

Fox parent News Corp. benefitted from both sites, depending
on the print or cable outlet. The
Wall Street Journal got a whopping
10.37% of its U.S. visits from
Google News, but only 1.41% from

Hitwise senior online analyst
Heather Hopkins cited an article
in Th e New York Times about the
“water-cooler effect” of social networking
sites boosting on-air media
as one possible explanation.

Hitwise’s results are based on
10 million Internet users.

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