News

A third of Americans get their news from Facebook

A third of Americans get their news from Facebook

FACEBOOK FRIENDS: More Americans are getting their news from Facebook than ever before. Photo: Reuters

By Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) – One in three Americans get news through Facebook, according to a study from the Pew Research Center released on Thursday.

Almost 80 percent of those surveyed happen upon news when they are checking up on friends or sharing photos. Heavy news consumers did not describe Facebook as an important source of news, the study found.

“People go to Facebook to share personal moments – and they discover the news almost incidentally,” Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at Pew, said in a statement.

The survey is the first part of a series of studies that the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are conducting to examine social media and news consumption.

The study said that about two-thirds of all U.S. adults use Facebook. The world’s largest social media site displays a stream where people and publishers can share news. Only 4 percent of Facebook news consumers said the platform is the most important way they obtain their news.

Social media is playing an increasingly important role in how people find news. The trend is especially pronounced among young people who prefer to get news through platforms like Twitter or Facebook rather than traditional forms of print or broadcast television.

In an earlier study, Pew found that 34 percent of people aged 18 to 24 consume news through social media compared with 10 percent of adults between the ages of 50 to 64.

The current Pew study found that adults aged 18 to 29 account for a third of Facebook news consumers.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all experimenting with ways to aggregate and share news as a way to keep people coming back to their platforms. On Monday, Facebook said that referral traffic to publishers’ sites increased 170 percent through the past year.

Facebook users are not discriminating when it comes to the source of news – 70 percent click on news stories because of interest in the topic. Only 20 percent said they read a story based on the news organization.

The survey was conducted Aug. 21 through Sept. 2 among 5,173 U.S. adults including Facebook users.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Ben U Student Airs Concerns Following Private Forum

Updated
school test

The questions surrounding Benedictine University's decision to cancel undergraduate programs at its Springfield campus continue.

in Local

Springfield Clinic’s “GIVE75″ Campaign Continues

sojourn

Springfield Clinic is celebrating its 75th birthday but the company is giving the presents instead of receiving

in Local

Bar Assoc. Offers Help Voting for Judges

gavel2

How do you know how to vote for judges? The Illinois State Bar Association has some help.

in Election 2014, Local

Rauners Say Bruce and Quinn Agree on Social Issues

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Speaking to a coalition of women supporting her husband’s campaign, Diana Rauner said Gov. Pat Quinn has tried to take the focus off jobs and the economy.