While 38 percent of dedicated news followers who get their news on Facebook credit the site with being an important way they get their news, that figure rises to 47 percent among those who follow the news less closely.
Americans may find news on Facebook, but they don’t come to the social media site looking for it, according to a new Pew Research Journalism Project study.
Getting news from Facebook “is a common, but incidental experience” according to the report, which finds that almost half of adult Facebook users (47 percent) “ever” get news on the site. This comprises 30 percent of the population.
Most American adults do not log on to Facebook seeking out the news, but more than three-fourths (78 percent) do get news when they are on the site for other reasons. Less than five percent say it is the most important way they get news. Pew quotes one respondent, “I believe Facebook is a good way to find out news without actually looking for it.”
The survey does find that Facebook, the largest social media platform, is playing an increasing role as a news source for people who otherwise might not receive it. While 38 percent of dedicated news followers who get their news on Facebook credit the site with being an important way they get their news, that figure rises to 47 percent among those who follow the news less closely. Millennials account for 34 percent of Facebook news consumers.
The incidental nature of Facebook exposes more people to news there, according to the report. The more time one spends on the site, the more likely they are to get news there. Two-thirds (67 percent) who are on Facebook for at least an hour a day receive news there, compared with 41 percent who spend less than an hour a day on the site.
· Roughly half (49 percent) of Facebook news consumers report regularly getting news on six or more different topics, among which entertainment is most popular, followed by community news, national politics and government.
· Liking or commenting on news stories occurs almost as frequently as clicking on links, though back and forth discussions are less common.
· Seventy percent of Facebook users click on news links because of interest in the topic, not because of the news outlet itself
A majority of Millionaires (56 percent) log on to Facebook at least once a day, according to a wealth level survey of social media and mobile technology usage conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. When it comes to using Facebook as an outlet for financial news and information, Millionaire investors do not like it as a resource. The highest percentage (only 4 percent) use it to read financial or investment blogs. Only 15 percent describe themselves as an active participant who observes, shares, comments and communicates with others.
Twitter is more actively used by Millionaires not so much to follow news as to follow pundits. Nearly half (47 percent) said they follow news commentators, while 39 percent said they follow political commentators, followed by 22 percent who follow financial and/or investment commentators.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.