Six-in-ten Facebook users report getting their news on the social media site.
The ongoing controversy surrounding Facebook’s alleged suppression of organically trending conservative interest stories as “Trending Topics” is a sign of how Facebook has evolved over the years as a news source.
Facebook, the most popular social media network, was once considered to be an inadvertent news source for people who frequented the site, according to a 2013 Pew Research Journalism Project study. In that study, 38 percent of dedicated news followers who got their news on Facebook credited the site with being an important way they get their news. That figure rose to almost half (47 percent) among those who identified themselves as more casual news followers. The study found that two-thirds of Facebook users visiting the site for at least an hour daily receive news there, compared with 41 percent who spent less than an hour a day on the site.
A 2015 Pew Research Center study finds that as Facebook usage remains study, usage of the social media network as a news source is on the rise, with six-in-ten Facebook users reporting they get their news on Facebook. “The changes,” the study states, “can be tied to many factors including personal behavior, increased activity by news organizations, as well as changes in the platforms’ filtering algorithms or content structures.”
The increase in usage of Facebook as a news source cuts consistently across nearly every measured demographic, including gender, age, race, education, and household income. On Facebook, news use grew among both males (44 percent to 61 percent) and females (49 percent to 65 percent) as well as households with incomes less than $75,000 per year (47 percent to 63 percent) and those making $75,000 or more (46 percent to 63 percent).
Twitter’s immediacy makes that social media the more frequented choice to follow breaking news, Pew finds. There are four news topics that Twitter users report seeing at higher rates than Facebook users: Sports, business, international news and national government and politics.
But Facebook users are more likely than their Twitter-using counterparts (28 percent vs. 23 percent) to post about the news.
A Spectrem Group study of Millionaire households last year found that 59 percent of Millionaires use Facebook, up slightly from the previous year. Six-in-ten reported checking their Facebook page at least once every day.
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.