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 Entertainment

Today’s celebrity birthdays

Fresh
sela

See which celebrities will be blowing out candles today.

in Sports

NCAA Football on KPUG: Louisville defeats Miami 31-13 in ACC debut  

Fresh
New Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, center, waits for his squad to huddle during a break in the annual Red-White NCAA college spring football game in Louisville, Ky., Friday, April 11, 2014. At left is quarterback Brett Nelson (12).

The victory provided a successful Atlantic Coast Conference debut for the Cardinals and to Bobby Petrino's second coaching stint at the school.

in Local Sports

Lauren Jackson pulls out of worlds due to injury

Fresh
seattle storm logo

Basketball Australia says Seattle Storm star Lauren Jackson has withdrawn from the world championships later this month to undertake further rehabilitation for her knee injury

in Local Sports

Seahawks finalize practice squad roster

seattle seahawks logo generic

The Seattle Seahawks finalized their 10-man practice squad roster earlier Monday.

in Sports

Right guard Boone passes physical, rejoins 49ers

WP-49ersGoreBoone

The 27-year-old Boone reached agreement on a restructured $6 million, two-year contract Sunday. The 49ers requested a roster exemption and Boone must be added to the 53-man roster before he can play.