More people turn to social media for news

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More people are turning to social media to get news about issues and events beyond those involving family and friends, according to a new survey that was carried out by the Pew Research Center in conjunction with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The survey, which polled more than 2,000 adults in the US, showed that around 63 per cent of Twitter and Facebook devotees use the platforms as a major source of news. This is a notable jump from 2013, when the figure was just under 50 per cent.

“The sizeable increase in news consumption on Twitter and Facebook since 2013 corresponds with new initiatives and features both platforms have introduced to promote access and engagement with media content,” explained Jon Sotsky, the director for strategy and assessment at the Knight Foundation.

They found that 46 per cent of Twitter users follow news organisations, commentators, or reporters; just 28 per cent of Facebook users do the same. Meanwhile, 30 per cent of Twitter users follow political candidates or parties, compared to just 23 per cent of Facebook devotees.

The study also found that Twitter is being used more for breaking news, with 59 per cent of Twitter users saying that they follow the social media platform to keep up with news on current events; this is nearly double the 31 per cent of Facebook users who say the same.

Meanwhile, Facebook users are more likely to post and respond to content relating to government and politics than Twitter users.

Specifically, about 32 per cent of Facebook users indicated that they post about politics and government on the social media platform, while 28 per cent say they comment on posts about these matters. On the other hand, only 25 per cent of Twitter users tweet about such topics, and 13 per cent reply to these types of tweets.


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