The New News: 60 Percent of Americans Use Social Networks as News Source

A new research, found that the share of Americans for whom social networks such as Twitter and Facebook serve as news source is continuing to rise. If you scroll down your social networks’ feed, links to news probably make up a high percentage of the online content you come across. Even if you are trying to avoid the latest breaking news – or you don’t want to look at it!- in the end, you will.

Social networks turned into a popular news source

Now, more and more users turn to social networks to fulfill different types of informational needs. A new study, conducted by Pew Research Center in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, found that clear majorities of Twitter (63%) and Facebook users (63%) now say each platform serves as news source of various kinds.

Getting news from Twitter and Facebook

The share has increased substantially from 2013, when about half of users said they got news from the social platforms.

The New News: 60 Percent of Americans Use Social Networks as News Source - Clapway

Users usually follow breaking news on Twitter. The social network’s competitive advantage appears to be “providing as-it-happens coverage and commentary on live events”.

According to a previous report by Pew, most U.S. adults do not go to Facebook seeking news out, but “news is a common but incidental experience.” As one respondent summed it up, “I believe Facebook is a good way to find out news without actually looking for it.”

Every demographic group affected by shift in news source

Young adults, who as a group are reportedly less engaged than their elders, are passionate, if not more so, with news on Facebook. According to the newly published report, the rise in the share of social media users feeding themselves with news on Facebook and Twitter “cuts across nearly every demographic group”.

Twitter and Facebook are focusing on delivering news

Both social media platforms are placing their focus on enhancing users’ “newsroom experience.” Twitter is soon set to unveil its long-rumoured news feature, “Project Lightning” and in early 2015, purchased and launched the live video-streaming app Periscope, the report notes.

Meanwhile, in May, Facebook launched Instant Articles, and recently started introducing its “Trending” sidebar to allow users to filter by topic and see only trending news about politics, science and technology, sports or entertainment.

The study was part of a series of research reports that examine the role of news on social media platforms. Do you also use social networks as news source?

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