Forty-seven percent (47%) of adult users of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) or 30% of adults in the United States read news through the social network giant, according to a new study released by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Facebook News

According to the study, a majority of adults in the United States who participated in the survey do not visit their account on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to find news. The study found that 78% of news consumers on the social network giant visit the site for other reasons while 4% said it is the most important way to obtain news. One of the respondents said, “I believe Facebook is a good way to find out news without actually looking for it.”

Facebook provides news to some people on its platform

The result of the survey showed evidences that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) provides news to some people on its platform who do not read newspapers or watch news programs. One of participants in the survey commented, “If it wasn’t for Facebook news, I’d probably never really know what’s going on in the world because I don’t have time to keep up with the news on a bunch of different locations.”

According to the survey, young people between the age of 18-29 years old account for 34% of news consumers on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and they obtain news about different topics at almost the same level with older age groups. The study found that they visit the social network giant for breaking news because they believe that it is an important source of news. Pew Research noted that users who spend more time on the site will likely read more news there.

Facebook news consumers still access other sites

The study also found that Facebook news consumers still access other sites to read news at roughly the same level as the overall population. According to the study, 42% of users reading news on the social network giant are also watching local television news. Forty-six percent (46%) of U.S. adults do the same. Only 21% of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) news consumers read newspapers compared with 27% of the overall population.

The study revealed that 77% of Facebook news consumers visit the site to keep up with what’s going on with their friends and news consumption does not replace their other activities on the site such as chatting or posting their own personal updates.

Forty nine percent (49%) of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) news consumers regularly obtain news about six or more topics, but the most popular topic is entertainment, followed by community news, national politics and government, and sports.

Facebook news consumers click the “like” icon or comment on news stories with the same level of frequency as clicking on links, but engaging in a back-and-forth discussion is less common. Respondents reveal that they only click on news links if they are interested in the topic. Seventy percent (70%) cite “interesting”, 51% “entertaining” and 50% “surprising” as the primary reason for following the link.

Facebook news consumers who “like” or follow news organizations or journalists indicate high levels of news engagement on the platform.

Pew Research surveyed 5,173 adult Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users (18 years of age or older) from August 21 to September 2, 2013.