Social media is being used as a news source by bigger percentages of its users. 52 percent of Twitter users and 47 percent of Facebook users are using their feeds to get the latest news. Reddit is by far the most relied on for news, but it represents such a small percentage of the general US population. So where are we getting our news?
Pew Research Center conducted the study as part of a continuing examination of social media use as it relates to news. The Center examined the media consumption patterns of 5,137 social media users, to gauge the national response to news sources and news gathering by individuals. The results reveal a lot about how the role of social media is changing and maybe why Facebook decided to change the news feed.
Reddit was rated the highest as a news source with 62 percent of its users being there for the news. With Reddit’s democratic style good stories generally make the top, making the moniker “the front page of the internet” rather accurate. Instagram, Vine and Pinterest rated lowest at 13 percent, nine percent, and three percent respectively.
In most cases, users got their news through only one social network, while a quarter used two sites and only nine percent of news buffs used three sites of more. Those who get their news from multiple sources were generally going from another site, back to Facebook. Even among Google+ users, 60 percent of them, seem to duck back to Facebook for their news.
But before we start sounding the death knell for other forms of news media, people are still buying newspapers, and watching TV. Linkedin users, who are mostly in the 30-64 age range, were the most likely to read the paper. They also enjoy radio more than other social media users.
Twitter users seemed to be dragging their feet when it came to using offline news source. While they are most adept at using mobile technology for getting their news, Twitter users were least likely to watch television news and bought the fewest papers. With Twitter’s short form, and mobile friendliness, 54 percent of tweeters were getting their news hot off the hashtag.
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