Survey: Facebook, Twitter Gaining As Important News Sources
Half of those under 35 say Twitter and Facebook are primary news sources.
Americans increasingly see Twitter and Facebook as meaningful sources for news. That’s true across age and other demographic categories but for younger users, these sites are becoming a primary news source.
More people get news from Facebook simply because of its much larger user base, while Twitter has a meaningful edge however as a “breaking news” source. Roughly 8 percent of US adults get news from both Facebook and Twitter.
These findings are part of a social media and news consumption survey from Pew Research. The survey was conducted in March of 2015 by research firm GfK. The survey is a follow up to a similar one conducted in 2013.
According to the data a majority of both Facebook and Twitter users now see each platform as a source of news and information outside of friends and family updates. Those numbers have increased by at least 10 points in each case since 2013.
One of the observed differences between news consumption on both platforms is the diversity of topics seen. Pew says that “Twitter news users overall see a somewhat greater mix of topics. Roughly two-in-three Twitter news users (67 percent) report regularly seeing at least six of the 11 news topics asked about, compared with 57 percent of Facebook news users.”
There are also some gender differences in terms of topics seen and engaged with by men and women on both sites.
Pew explains that 28 percent of Facebook users and 23 percent of Twitter users tend to post news stories. Interestingly US households with incomes below $75,000 were reportedly “more likely to post about news than those in higher-income households.”
Overall the percentage of survey respondents who say that Facebook or Twitter is a primary or the “most important” news source has remained static since 2013 — except among younger users. Roughly half of those survey respondents under 35 said that these social sites were an important or most important way they get their news.
For Twitter and increasingly Facebook traditional news content is a critical component of the value proposition to users. Facebook in particular has been trying to evolve for several years from a communication platform into daily news and information source.
There are many additional findings and interesting observations in the survey results. You can see the full study here.