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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 31, 2014

Getting news on Facebook is an incidental experience

Recent research from Pew highlights the role of social media in consumers' news discovery and reveals how Facebook has become an accidental source of the news for many.

by Helen Leggatt

Social media has increasingly played a major role in consumers' news consumption behavior with many turning to social media sites to get the latest.

New research from Pew found that 30% of adults in the U.S. who use Facebook do so to get that latest news. However, just 22% of those believe that the social network is a useful resource for news. Yet, because more adults in the U.S. use Facebook than any other social media it is the leading platform on which news is consumed.

However, Pew's data reveals that Facebook users aren't logging on to the network to get their news fix - 78% said they mostly see the news when visiting the social network for other reasons.

Furthermore, the news they are seeing in their Newsfeeds is likely to be as a result of a friend sharing as just 34% of Facebook news consumers had 'Liked' a news organization or journalist.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, just 8% of Twitter users log on to the microblogging platform to keep up to date with the news. In fact, the study found that YouTube was a channel whose userbase was more likely to use it to keep up to date with the news (10%).

Pew's findings and charts can be viewed online here.

Tags: news distribution, social media

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