Survey: Facebook is Becoming a Primary News Source for Millennials

By Kimberlee Morrison Comment

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Social media has become a news reader for many users. Users are using everything from Whatsapp to Twitter’s new Periscope app to gather news and stay informed about the world. According to data aggregated by eMarketer, Facebook still holds the most allure as a social news source, especially among millennials.

57 percent of millennials logged into Facebook at least once a day to get news and information, with 30 percent logging in several times a day or more. The next most popular was YouTube, with 28 percent of respondents logging in at least daily to check news. Tumblr was the least popular social network for news, with 77 percent of respondents saying they ‘never’ searched for news there.

News reading and engagement are popular Facebook activities for millennials surveyed. 70 percent read or watch news stories or headlines posted by others, 60 percent like stories, headlines, and links, and 42 percent share news stories they’ve seen elsewhere. Only 11 percent of the 952 polled for this query did not regularly engage in news related activity on Facebook.

When it comes to journalists on Facebook and Twitter, it seems that most are not there to aggregate news, but to engage in self promotion. 78 percent and 74 percent of journalists surveyed used Twitter and Facebook (respectively) to engage in marketing and promotion, and 62 and 65 percent used the respective services to build relationships.

26 percent of journalists surveyed used Twitter as a lead generation source, and 15 percent used Twitter for receiving story pitches. 23 percent generated leads on Facebook, and 16 percent used the service to receive pitches.

Given that so many people are accessing Facebook as a major source of news, it’s no wonder Facebook has been cleaning up its act. Whether it’s clearly marking hoax stories, or working to reduce clickbait, Facebook wants to make sure that if you’re visiting the site for news, you see high quality content as much as is possible.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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