MakovskyFriday, September 4, 2015
Nearly two-thirds of Twitter (63%) and Facebook (63%) users — a clear majority — report that both platforms serve as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family, according to a< study conducted this summer by Pew Research Center in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
This represents a substantial increase since 2013, when just about half of users (52% of Twitter users and 47% of Facebook users) said they sourced news from those social platforms.
Another interesting finding: users turn to Facebook and Twitter to fulfill different information needs. For example, the number of users who say they follow breaking news on Twitter is nearly twice the number of those who follow breaking news on Facebook (59% vs. 31%)—supporting Twitter’s contention that its great strength is providing “as-it-happens coverage and commentary on live events.”
A number of interesting offerings are expected to take advantage of these trends.
Twitter’s soon-to-be-unveiled “Project Lightning” feature will allow anyone (Twitter user or not) to view a feed of tweets, images and videos about live events, in the moment, and curated by human editors with newsroom experience.
Launched a couple of months ago, Facebook’s “Instant Articles” is designed to allow media companies to publish stories directly to the Facebook platform instead of linking to outside sites. Thus, delivering articles 10 times faster on a mobile device.
The rise in the share of social media users getting their news on Facebook or Twitter cuts across nearly every demographic group, with the exception of age. Though news usage among those under 35 increased at roughly the same rate as among those aged 35 and older, on Facebook, younger users are more likely to look at news than older users are.