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. [Read more…]

The Role of News on Facebook

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On Facebook, the largest social networking site, news is a common but incidental part of the experience, according to a new online national survey. The study is the first in a multi-part research project by the Pew Research Center, in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, examining the role of news on Facebook and other social networking sites.

The new survey finds that roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use Facebook, and half of those users (47%) “ever” get news there. That amounts to 30% of the overall population who are “Facebook news consumers.” Among this group, roughly 8-in-10 (78%) say they mostly get news when they are on Facebook for other reasons, such as seeing what friends are up to or sharing photos. [Read more…]

Pew: 72% of Americans Follow Local News Closely

 

The Pew Research Center released results from its local news survey today, which found that nearly three quarters of Americans (72%) report following local news closely “most of the time, whether or not something important is happening.” Local newspapers are by far the source they rely on for much of the local information they need.

One-third of local news enthusiasts (32%) say it would have a major impact on them if their local newspaper no longer existed, compared with just 19% of those less interested in local news. Most likely to report a major impact if their newspaper disappeared are local news followers age 40 and older (35%), though even among younger local news followers 26% say losing the local paper would have a major impact on them.

Local news enthusiasts are more likely than others to prefer newspapers for almost all of 16 topics that were asked about in a survey, with the exception of weather and breaking news. Three-in-ten or more local news enthusiasts prefer newspapers for following crime, local politics, community events, or arts and culture. About one-quarter prefer newspapers when seeking information about local schools, taxes, government activity, other local business, and housing issues. Two-in-ten primarily use newspapers for following restaurants, job openings, or local zoning issues.

[Read more…]

Pew: State of the News Media 2012

New Devices, Platforms Spur More News Consumption, But News Industry Loses Ground to Technology Rivals

 

A mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technology is adding to news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism. But the evidence also shows that technology companies are strengthening their grip on who profits, according to the 2012 State of the News Mediareport by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

More than a quarter of Americans (27%) now get news on mobile devices, and for the vast majority, this is increasing news consumption, the report finds.  More than 80% of smartphone and tablet news consumers still get news on laptop or desktop computers. On mobile devices, news consumers also are more likely to go directly to a news site or use an app, rather than to rely on search — strengthening the bond with traditional news brands.

While technology may be adding to the appeal of traditional news, technology intermediaries are capturing even more of the digital revenue pie. In 2011, five technology giants generated 68% of all digital ad revenue, according to the market research firm eMarketer — and that does not include Amazon and Apple, which make their money from devices and downloads. By 2015, roughly one out of every five display ad dollars is expected to go to Facebook, according to the same source.

[Read more…]