As part of an ongoing examination of social media platforms and news, the Pew Research Centre has found that a majority of adults in the United States – 62% or around two thirds – access their news on social media, with 18% doing so often.
The researchers analysed the scope and characteristics of social media news consumers across nine social networking sites, with Facebook coming out on top.
News plays a varying role across the social networking sites studied. The survey shows that two-thirds of Facebook users (66%) access news on the site, nearly six-in-ten Twitter users (59%) access news on Twitter, and seven-in-ten Reddit users get news on that platform. On Tumblr, the figure sits at 31%, while for the other five social networking sites it is true of only about one-fifth or less of their user bases.
Addressing the issue of news audiences overlapping on social media platforms, the researchers found that of those who access news using at least one of the sites, a majority (64%) access news on just one – most commonly Facebook. About a quarter (26%) get news on two social media sites. Just one-in-ten access news on three or more sites.
The study is based on a survey conducted between 12 January and 8 February 2016 with 4,654 members of the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.