How do different social networking websites stack up when it comes to
news? How many people engage with news across multiple social sites?
And what are their news consumption habits on traditional platforms? As
part of an ongoing examination of social media and news, the Pew
Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight
Foundation analyzed the characteristics of news consumers and the size
of their population across 11 social networking sites.
News plays a varying role across the social networking sites.1 Roughly half of both Facebook and Twitter
users get news on those sites, earlier reports have shown. On YouTube,
that is true of only one-fifth of its user base, and for LinkedIn, the
number is even smaller. And Pinterest, a social pin board for visual
content, is hardly used for news at all.
he proportions who get news, combined with the total reach of a site,
show how many U.S. adults are learning about events and issues through
each social networking site. Facebook is by far the largest social
networking site among U.S. adults, and with half of its users getting
news there, is also the largest among U.S. adults when it comes to
getting news. As discussed in an earlier report,
roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use the site, and half of those
users get news there—amounting to 30% of the general population.
YouTube has the next greatest reach in terms of general usage, at 51% of
U.S. adults. Thus, even though only a fifth of its users get news
there, that amounts to 10% of the adult population, which puts it on par
with Twitter. Twitter reaches just 16% of U.S. adults, but half (8% of
U.S. adults) use it for news. reddit is a news destination for nearly
two-thirds of its users (62%). But since just 3% of the U.S. population
uses reddit, that translates to 2% of the population that gets news