A look at news use across social media platforms

(THE PICKET) – A new study from Pew Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation shows that Twitter and Facebook are becoming a popular source of news among internet users.

Today, 63 percent of social media users say they use Twitter and Facebook primarily for news, an increase from the 47 percent of Facebook users and 52 percent of Twitter users in 2013. Facebook users who use the site to get their news are more likely to be adults under 35 years old.

“It’s just natural for me to read news on social media these days,” Lauren Barber, a senior communications major at Shepherd University said.

“I don’t remember exactly when my transition from traditional news to social media happened, but I suspect when apps became so accessible. It is so much easier to just look at my phone and access everything from social news to breaking news.”

Sydney Clark, a junior communications major, said she uses Twitter to get her news.

“I don’t go on websites to get my news unless I see an article but I do sometimes use Twitter for news,” Clark said.

Nick Vider, a freshman chemistry major, said that he sometimes uses Twitter to get his news.

“I don’t really read news online but I do occasionally watch news on Twitter,” Vider said.

Despite having the same amount of users getting their news from these sites, Twitter and Facebook have found different ways of getting news across their platforms. Six in 10 Twitter news users, or 59 percent, use the platform to keep informed of events while they are happening.

Twitter is said to be coming out with a new feature, which will allow public access to feeds of live events. Facebook, on the other hand, has recently released a new sidebar, which allows users to filter out trending news and set their page to only show news that appeals to them.

The research demographics show that more women than men are likely to see stories about entertainment and health as well as local events. On Twitter, women are more likely to see stories about weather and traffic, crime, health, and entertainment.

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