News

A third of Americans get their news from Facebook

A third of Americans get their news from Facebook

FACEBOOK FRIENDS: More Americans are getting their news from Facebook than ever before. Photo: Reuters

By Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) – One in three Americans get news through Facebook, according to a study from the Pew Research Center released on Thursday.

Almost 80 percent of those surveyed happen upon news when they are checking up on friends or sharing photos. Heavy news consumers did not describe Facebook as an important source of news, the study found.

“People go to Facebook to share personal moments – and they discover the news almost incidentally,” Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at Pew, said in a statement.

The survey is the first part of a series of studies that the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are conducting to examine social media and news consumption.

The study said that about two-thirds of all U.S. adults use Facebook. The world’s largest social media site displays a stream where people and publishers can share news. Only 4 percent of Facebook news consumers said the platform is the most important way they obtain their news.

Social media is playing an increasingly important role in how people find news. The trend is especially pronounced among young people who prefer to get news through platforms like Twitter or Facebook rather than traditional forms of print or broadcast television.

In an earlier study, Pew found that 34 percent of people aged 18 to 24 consume news through social media compared with 10 percent of adults between the ages of 50 to 64.

The current Pew study found that adults aged 18 to 29 account for a third of Facebook news consumers.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all experimenting with ways to aggregate and share news as a way to keep people coming back to their platforms. On Monday, Facebook said that referral traffic to publishers’ sites increased 170 percent through the past year.

Facebook users are not discriminating when it comes to the source of news – 70 percent click on news stories because of interest in the topic. Only 20 percent said they read a story based on the news organization.

The survey was conducted Aug. 21 through Sept. 2 among 5,173 U.S. adults including Facebook users.

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

Doug Baldwin headlines group of unheralded receivers

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) celebrates after scoring on a 63-yard touchdown reception next to wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Carolina Panthers in Seattle, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015.

Criticism of Seattle's receivers comes from ex-players-turned-broadcasters, other reporters and plenty of fans on social media.

in Local Sports

Chancellor “looked pretty good” as Seahawks finish prep

Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) celebrates a hit on St. Louis Rams' Stedman Bailey in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Seattle.

Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor "looked pretty good" on Saturday according to coach Pete Carroll.

in Local Sports

Seahawks’ D could earn spot in NFL lore with Super Bowl win

Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, left, and cornerback Richard Sherman warm up with their teammates at the start of NFL football practice Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are scheduled to play in the Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014.

The Seahawks are the first team since coach Buddy Ryan's 1985-86 Chicago Bears to give up the fewest points per game and fewest yards per game in back-to-back seasons.

in Local Sports

Viking men rout Nanooks

WWU Jeffrey Parker and Jamon Echols

Jeffrey Parker scored 26 points to break open a tight contest as Western Washington University pulled away to an 80-57 victory over University of Alaska Fairbanks.

in Local Sports

Prep Hoops Scoreboard

Basketball

Saturday 1/31/2015 High School Scores