News Use Across Social Media Platforms in 2020

BY ELISA SHEARER AND AMY MITCHELL

About half of Americans get news on social media at least sometimesAs social media companies struggle to deal with misleading information on their platforms about the electionthe COVID-19 pandemic and more, a large portion of Americans continue to rely on these sites for news. About half of U.S. adults (53%) say they get news from social media “often” or “sometimes,” and this use is spread out across a number of different sites, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 2020.

Facebook stands out as regular source of news for AmericansAmong 11 social media sites asked about as a regular source of news, Facebook sits at the top, with about a third (36%) of Americans getting news there regularly. YouTube comes next, with 23% of U.S. adults regularly getting news there. Twitter serves as a regular news source for 15% of U.S. adults.

Other social media sites are less likely to be regular news sources. About one-in-ten Americans or fewer report regularly getting news on Instagram (11%), Reddit (6%), Snapchat (4%), LinkedIn (4%), TikTok (3%), WhatsApp (3%), Tumblr (1%) and Twitch (1%).

Large portion of Twitter users regularly get news on the siteThese lower percentages for news use are in some cases related to the fact that fewer Americans report using them at all, compared with the shares who use Facebook and YouTube. If we consider news users as a portion of a site’s overall user base, some sites stand out as being more “newsy” even if their total audience is relatively small. Twitter, for example, is used by 25% of U.S. adults, but over half of those users get news on the site regularly. And 42% of Reddit users get news regularly on the site, though it overall has a very small user base (15% of U.S. adults say they use Reddit). On the other hand, YouTube, though widely used, sees a smaller portion of its users turning to the site for news regularly (32%).

Demographics of regular social media news consumers

There are in some cases drastic demographic differences between the people who turn to each social media site for news. For example, White adults make up a majority of the regular news users of Facebook and Reddit but fewer than half of those who turn to Instagram for news. Both Black and Hispanic adults make up about a quarter of Instagram’s regular news users (22% and 27%, respectively). People who regularly get news on Facebook are more likely to be women than men (63% vs. 35%), while two-thirds of Reddit’s regular news users are men.

The majority of regular news users of many sites – YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and LinkedIn – are Democrats or lean Democratic. This may be related to the relatively young age profile of the news user base of these social media sites. No social media site included here has regular news users who are more likely to be Republican or lean Republican.

Seguir leyendo: PRC

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