Facebook and Twitter are among the leaders in the social network sector, and are also growing as a source of news among their users, reveals new research. The Pew Research Center claims that over half of Facebook and Twitter users get news from the platform. This marks a significant increase from 2013.
Facebook, Twitter both popular as news source
The report states that users of all genders, ages, races, demographics and background are getting their news from social media platforms. It is not just confined to teenagers or a few types of people. The research is based on a survey involving 2000 U.S. adults, including 331 Twitter users and 1,315 Facebook users.
“This rise comes primarily from more current users encountering news there rather than large increases in the user base overall,” the report notes.
Researchers observed that adult users claiming the social networks are serving as a source of news have increased. From 52% Twitter and 47% of Facebook users in 2013, this number has increased to around 63% for both the platforms.
The increase is visible across all demographic groups. Users under 35 rose from 55% to 67%. Users above 35 increased from 47% to 59%. The increasing use of Facebook as a source of the news grew both among men and women. For men, the increase was from 44% to 61% while for women it is 49% to 65%. For the young users, Facebook remains the preferred platform for the news than Twitter, claims the study.
Twitter more preferred for live events
Pew also noted major differences existed in the news distribution strength of Facebook and Twitter. The micro-blogging site focuses more on live events, and therefore, is preferred by users looking for breaking news. The topics and habits also varied in both the platforms. Twitter users prefer to follow news organizations, reporters or commentators, while Facebook users go for government and political news.
Pew’s findings are good news for both the platforms as the tech firms have been pushing hard into the news segment over the last year or s o. Earlier this year, Facebook released Instant Articles, while rival Twitter acquired Periscope along with plans to launch curated event-based feeds soon.
The social media firms like to consider themselves as content distribution platforms instead of content publishers, denying that they use “editorial judgments.” The demand for news from users is increasing rapidly, and both Facebook and Twitter are fighting hard to gather more users.