News Use on Social Media Platforms: New Study From Pew Research

The Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project released a new report today, which analyzes the role of news across social media platforms. Researchers found the level of news consumption varies considerably on different social networking sites —roughly half of Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites while only a fifth of YouTube users do so.

The report also looks at the demographics of different social networking sites; how many people engage with news across multiple social sites; and social media users’ news consumption habits on traditional platforms. Research was conducted by Jesse Holcomb, Jeffrey Gottfried and Amy Mitchell in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. They analyzed the characteristics of news consumers and the size of their population across 11 social networking sites.

“News plays a varying role across the social networking sites.1 Roughly half of both Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites, earlier reports have shown. On YouTube, that is true of only one-fifth of its user base, and for LinkedIn, the number is even smaller. And Pinterest, a social pin board for visual content, is hardly used for news at all,” the report shows.

Key findings include:

4“The proportions who get news, combined with the total reach of a site, show how many U.S. adults are learning about events and issues through each social networking site. Facebook is by far the largest social networking site among U.S. adults, and with half of its users getting news there, is also the largest among U.S. adults when it comes to getting news. As discussed in an earlier report, roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use the site, and half of those users get news there—amounting to 30% of the general population. YouTube has the next greatest reach in terms of general usage, at 51% of U.S. adults. Thus, even though only a fifth of its users get news there, that amounts to 10% of the adult population, which puts it on par with Twitter. Twitter reaches just 16% of U.S. adults, but half (8% of U.S. adults) use it for news. reddit is a news destination for nearly two-thirds of its users (62%). But since just 3% of the U.S. population uses reddit, that translates to 2% of the population that gets news there.”

3“Social media news consumers still get news from a variety of other sources and, in some cases, even more so than the general public does. YouTube, LinkedIn and Google Plus news consumers are more likely than Facebook and Twitter news consumers to watch cable news. Twitter news consumers are among the least likely to turn to local and cable TV. And nearly four-in-ten LinkedIn news consumers listen to news on the radio, compared to about a quarter of the general population.”

 

Read the complete report: http://pewrsr.ch/174IiQt

 

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