How Does News Consumption On Facebook Stack Up Vs. Other Social Networks?

By David Cohen 

PewProfileOfTheSocialMediaNewsConsumerA total of 47 percent of Facebook users get news on the social network, trailing Reddit (62 percent) and Twitter (52 percent), but due to the size of its user base, when looking at U.S. adults overall, Facebook blows away its social network competition, with 30 percent getting news from the site, and YouTube coming in a distant second, at 10 percent, according to the latest study from Pew Research Center.

However, Facebook’s mobile push has not helped news consumption on that platform, as 38 percent of U.S. adults said they get news through Facebook on mobile devices, trailing Twitter (54 percent), LinkedIn (51 percent), and Google Plus (42 percent), and barely edging YouTube (37 percent).

According to Pew, 65 percent of respondents said they got news from just one social network, while 26 percent did so on two, and 9 percent on three or more.

Facebook users who told Pew they got news from more than one social network also cited:

  • Twitter, 71 percent
  • YouTube, 64 percent
  • Google Plus, 60 percent
  • LinkedIn, 57 percent

Pew also provided the following statistics on U.S. adults who consume news via Facebook:

  • 58 percent are female, while 42 percent are male.
  • 39 percent are between the ages of 30 and 49, followed by 18 through 29 (34 percent), 50 through 64 (20 percent), and 65-plus (7 percent).
  • 41 percent reported incomes of $75,000 or more, while 37 percent said they earned between $30,000 and $74,999, and 22 percent took home less than $30,000.
  • 39 percent said they earned high-school degrees, while 31 percent attended “some college,” and 30 percent earned at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • 63 percent are white, non-Hispanic, while 37 percent are non-white.
  • 38 percent are Democrats, 30 percent are independent, and 26 percent are Republicans.

Pew also looked at the traditional platforms U.S. adults access for news, in addition to social networks, and here is how Facebook fared:

  • Print newspaper: 21 percent of respondents who access news via Facebook also do so via print newspapers, below the U.S. adult average of 27 percent. LinkedIn topped the category at 30 percent.
  • Local TV: 42 percent of Facebook news consumers also get news from local TV, lagging slightly behind the U.S. adult average of 46 percent. The social network with the most news consumers who also got news from local TV was Google Plus, at 48 percent.
  • Cable TV: 23 percent of Facebook news consumers cited cable TV as a news source, slightly below the U.S. adult average of 24 percent. Google Plus also led here, at 35 percent.
  • Radio: Again, Facebook, at 25 percent, barely trailed the U.S. adult average of 26 percent. LinkedIn was tops in the radio category, at 39 percent.

Readers: Did any of the findings by Pew Research Center surprise you?

Image of newspaper, tablet, and mobile phone courtesy of Shutterstock.