Posted February 5, 2010 4:00 pm by with 10 comments

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Last week, Facebook posted instructions on how to make FB your “personalized news channel” and minimize nonnewsworthy clutter on their blog. Inspired, Hitwise looked at the numbers, and it looks like Facebook is already well on its way as a news starting point.

Hitwise’s stats show that Facebook is well ahead of some other news aggregators in terms of sending downstream traffic to news websites:

After Google (17.32%), Yahoo (7.89%) and msn (4.43%), Facebook was the fourth most popular referrer for news websites. Says Hitwise:

News and Media is the #11 downstream industry after Facebook, receiving 3.69% of the social networking site’s traffic. To offer a comparison, 6% of downstream traffic from Facebook went to Shopping and Classifieds last week [check out their downstream retail traffic] and 6% to Business and Finance and 15% went to Entertainment websites (YouTube in particular).

Clearly, news isn’t the most popular post-Facebook activity, but the chart shows that it’s been growing steadily over the last several months. (Any ideas what the spike in April was about? Conficker?)

What do you think? Will Facebook be the next big destination for news?