More and more people are looking at social networks to get their news.
As of August 2017, two-thirds (67%) of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media – with two-in-ten doing so often, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center. This is a modest increase since early 2016, when (during the height of the presidential primaries) 62% of U.S. adults reported getting news from social media. While a small increase overall, this growth is driven by more substantial increases among Americans who are older, less educated, and nonwhite. This study is based on a survey conducted August 8-21, 2017, with 4,971 U.S. adults who are members of Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.
Demographics of social media news consumers
There are some key differences in the demographic makeup of each site’s news users. Instagram and Snapchat news consumers are considerably more likely to be nonwhite and younger. Twitter and LinkedIn have the largest share of college graduates among their news users – 59% of LinkedIn’s news users have college degrees, as do 45% of Twitter’s news users. The news user bases of the two largest sites – Facebook and YouTube – include more older Americans than those of smaller sites such as Instagram and Snapchat.Snapchat has by far the youngest group of news users – 82% are ages 18-29. While Facebook and YouTube are still the most popular among this age group for news overall, the makeup of the app’s news audience means that about one-in-five (21%) 18- to 29-year-olds now get news on Snapchat.
Many social media news consumers still get news from more traditional platforms
Getting news on social media doesn’t mean that other more traditional pathways to news are ignored. Many social media news users also get news from a variety of other platforms, although there are some differences among the users of the various sites. Twitter news users, for example, are more likely to also often get news via news websites and apps than Facebook or YouTube news users. Facebook news users are more likely to often get news from local TV than those on YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat.
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