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October 28, 2013

Nearly One-Third of U.S. Adults Consume News on Facebook: Study

Image courtesy of (arztsamui)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of (arztsamui)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thirty percent of U.S. adults are getting at least a portion of their news via Facebook, a study from the Pew Research Center has found.

Pew director Amy Mitchell said while the majority of Americans — 78 percent of the 5,173 adults polled by Pew — do not go to Facebook with the intention of reading news, they are exposed to it nevertheless.

Pew Research Center image.

Pew Research Center image.

Only four percent of those surveyed, however, said Facebook is the most important way they get news.

“I believe Facebook is a good way to find out news without actually looking for it,” on survey respondent said.

Pew’s survey “provides evidence” the social network exposes some of its users to news who otherwise might not get it.

“While only 38 percent of heavy news followers who get news on Facebook say the site is an important way they get news, that figure rises to 47 percent among those who follow the news less often,” Mitchell said.

The most engaged segment on Facebook when it comes to the news is the 18 to 29 age group, accounting for 34 percent of Facebook news consumers.

Not surprisingly, those who spend the most time on the site are also more likely to consume news on Facebook as well.

Other study findings are:

• Facebook news consumers also get news from other sources to roughly the same degree as the rest of the population.

• Forty-nine percent of Facebook news consumers report regularly consuming news on at least six topics.

• Facebook news consumers who ‘like’ or follow news organizations or journalists show high levels of news engagement on the social network.


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