Pew: More Tablet Owners Read News than Use Social Networking Sites [Infographic]

By Devon Glenn 

News consumption continues to evolve as smartphones and tablets compete with desktop and laptop computers for readers’ attention. The latest survey from Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism suggests that Americans still prefer email and trusted publications to checking headlines on Facebook and Twitter — 37 percent of tablet owners read the news on their devices every day, compared with the 34 percent who use social networking sites.

While the study found that people are accessing social media sites from their smartphones and tablets, many people still turn to trusted news brands for information. Of the respondents who read in-depth articles, 72 percent said they read articles they were not initially looking for, but only 23 percent said they did so through recommendations from family and friends.

The Economist Group collaborated with Pew Research Center on this survey of people who read the news on their tablets and smartphones. The future of news hangs in the balance as publishers test advertising models against paid subscriptions and try to capture readers with longer, in-depth articles as well as pithy headlines. Not surprisingly, mobile devices were better for checking headlines, while tablets lent themselves to long-form reading.

Check out more statistics from the survey in the infographic below, courtesy of the Pew Research Center.