The news business is increasingly dependent on social media to reach an audience, and it’s changed a great deal as a result—not always in good ways, either. That’s what led the Pew Research Center to take a deeper look at how social platforms shape the way people get their news.
To no one’s big surprise, Facebook is the big kahuna for driving traffic to news sites. According to the Pew study, almost half of U.S. adults that use Facebook—that is, roughly 30% of the general population—also find news there.
See also: Why We Self-Censor On Social Media
Entertainment and community news were the the most popular news subjects on Facebook, while topics like international news, science and technology, and business draw the least attention. Only 28% of people who obtain news on Facebook—and now we’re down to a little more than eight percent of the overall population—use the social network to follow breaking news. (Facebook is trying hard to change that.)
Other highlights from the study:
- Twitter users are more slightly more avid news readers than their Facebook counterparts. About one-sixth of the U.S. adult population uses Twitter, and half of those users find news there.
- Of the 50% of U.S. adults that use YouTube, 10% watch news there.
- Just three percent of U.S. adults use Reddit, but two-thirds of those users get news from the site.
- Some 14% of social media users posted their own photos of news events.
Lead image by carterese