Study: 30% Of Facebook Users Are Consuming News, But It’s Mostly “Incidental” Consumption

Pew Research Center logo_September2013After posting an overview yesterday of the Pew Research Center’s State of News Media report, we wanted to dig a little deeper into the study’s research on social media news consumption.

According to the Pew report, three in ten Facebook users get news from the social media site. Even with the relatively high number of people reading news on Facebook, Pew claims Facebook news consumption is an “incidental experience.”

According to the report, only 22 percent of the people reading news on Facebook believe it is a useful news resource. The remaining 78 percent are on Facebook for reasons other than news stories.

Because more US adults use Facebook than any other social media site, it is the leading social media platform for news consumption. It’s worth noting, while Reddit’s user numbers are much lower than Facebook or Twitter, 62 percent of Reddit users are consuming news while on the site.

Percent of US Adults Using & Consuming News on Social Media Sites:

Pew Research State of News Media social media takeaways March 2014

Of the people reading news on Facebook, the report said half are seeing at least six different news topics, with the largest majority (73%) seeing entertainment-related news stories.

Facebook News Topics & the Percent of Users Who See Related Stories:

Pew Research State of News Media social media news types March 2014

Looking at news consumption on other social media sites, Pew’s research found people on Twitter tend to, “Come together around news events they feel passionately about.”  According to the report, opinions expressed on Twitter often differ from the broader public opinion, and sentiments connected to trending news stories on Twitter can change over time.

Of all social media users, Pew claims 50 percent have shared or re-posted news stories on a social media site, and 14 percent have posted photos they took of a news event.

After analyzing the audiences consuming news on a select number of social media sites, Pew found people reading news on Twitter tend to be younger, while Linkedin news readers are generally higher earners, and more likely to be college-educated.

Audience Demographics for People Consuming News Via Social Media Sites:

Pew Research State of News Media news consumer demographics March 2014

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook | Statistics: Online Behavior | Statistics: Social Media | Top News


About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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