One-third of adults under 30 get news on social networks now

Pew
For American adults under 30, social media has far surpassed newspapers and has equaled TV as a primary source of daily news, according to a new study of news consumption trends by the Pew Research Center for the People & The Press.

The study found 33 percent of those young adults got news from social networks the day before, while 34 percent watched TV news and just 13 percent read print or digital newspaper content.

Overall, the study says, the major trends driving the growth and change of digital news are social media, as well as the rapid adoption of mobile Internet devices.

The top-level trends in social media news consumption:

  • 19 percent of all Americans got news from a social network like Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn yesterday (up from 9 percent in 2010).
  • Among people using social networks, 36 percent got news there yesterday (up from 19 percent in 2010).
Overall use of social media for news consumption is growing, and the rates are similar across three age groups from 18 to 39.


And in mobile news consumption:

  • 17 percent of all Americans got news on a mobile device yesterday.
  • Among the people who own smartphones, 31 percent got news on them yesterday.

These trends are not unrelated. The growth of mobile media is a major driver of the growth in social media, the study finds. People who go online with mobile devices are three times more likely to get news from social media as those who only use the desktop Web (30 percent vs. 9 percent).

Twitter users more likely to connect with journalists

Twitter’s overall usage among the American population remains limited, but growing. And those who do use Twitter “are increasingly getting news and sharing news stories with others,” the study finds.

Only 11 percent of all Americans get news from Twitter, but among Twitter users a majority get news there and tweet news.

This study measured Twitter separately from other social networks like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

That is unusual, as most studies lump all together as “social media.” But it is probably useful, because Twitter functions more as an “interest network” than a “social network.” Follower relationships are based on shared interests, whereas the other networks tend to organize around personal relationships.

One effect of that difference is that Twitter users connect more with journalists and news organizations.

“More than a third (36%) of those with Twitter accounts use them to follow news organizations or journalists,” the study says. “On social networking sites, 19% of users say they got information there from news organizations or journalists.”

Mobile news apps reach young, wealthy audience

More Americans are downloading news apps in the past couple years, the survey says:

  • 25 percent of all Americans (up from 16 percent in 2010).
  • 45 percent of mobile Internet users (up from 20 percent in 2010).

Those growth rates are encouraging, but still a majority of mobile Internet users have not downloaded a news app to their devices.

“Those who have downloaded news apps tend to be young, well-educated and wealthy,” the study says. “…Even among mobile Internet users, there are sizable income differences: Fully 60% of mobile Internet users with incomes of at least $100,000 have downloaded a news app, compared with 40% of those with incomes of $30,000 or less.”

Other research has shown a greater number of readers prefer to use mobile websites rather than news apps, but those who use apps are power users who read more content and are more likely to pay.

The Pew study was based on 3,003 phone interviews conducted in May and early June. The total margin of error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points, and that margin increases for smaller subsamples such as mobile Internet users (3.0 points), social network users (2.9 points) and Twitter users (6.3 points).

Earlier: Smaller news websites depend more on social media for traffic than larger sites (Poynter)

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609003340 Mark Swanson

    Well said, Pelham. You can’t get quality content for free, at least with any consistency. Just ask AOL. The dollars have to come from somewhere.

  • http://twitter.com/mariannegoodwin Marianne Goodwin

    In your
    posting of September 27, 2012, http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/189776/one-third-of-adults-under-30-get-news-on-social-networks-now/
    the data demonstrates clearly what has been known for some time with regards to
    the importance social media news plays with one-third of the under 30 adult
    population. It will be interesting to see if their constant use of social media
    translates into an increase in the voter registration and participation rates in
    the next election.

    What about
    the growing ‘older generation’ and its reticence to embrace social media? In the news and political contexts, how can
    we make social media tools and applications more attractive to them? I even know of some people in their 40’s who
    ‘could not be bothered’ with social media…they are obviously missing the
    boat. How can we get them on board?

  • http://twitter.com/mariannegoodwin Marianne Goodwin

    In your
    posting of September 27, 2012, http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/189776/one-third-of-adults-under-30-get-news-on-social-networks-now/
    the data demonstrates clearly what has been known for some time with regards to
    the importance social media news plays with one-third of the under 30 adult
    population. It will be interesting to see if their constant use of social media
    translates into an increase in the voter registration and participation rates in
    the next election.

    What about
    the growing ‘older generation’ and its reticence to embrace social media? In the news and political contexts, how can
    we make social media tools and applications more attractive to them? I even know of some people in their 40’s who
    ‘could not be bothered’ with social media…they are obviously missing the
    boat. How can we get them on board?

  • bad credit Loans

    ya its true n ithink social networking is essentials is best ..
    Bad Credit Loans

  • Anonymous

    Excellent point. Of course, it’s the legacy media that generate the news.

    So when the legacy media disappear, who will supply the news and where will people turn to get it? As for where, I doubt people will ever give up their bright shiny smartphone and tablet tinker-toys, so we’re stuck with that. And as for who, I suspect we’ll be left with a few right-wing Wall Street-centric organizations (the WSJ and FT, possibly the NYT) and a scattering of constantly shifting, changing, here-today-gone-tomorrow online sources that no one in his right mind would trust who’ll provide lots of half-baked, skewed and outright fake news that serves some fruit-bat purpose decidedly other than informing the public.

    But people won’t care because — digitally mesmerized as they are — they indeed are not in their right minds. They’ll still think they’re getting “the news” because, well, there it is, right there on the screen of their bright, shiny iPhone 32s!

  • Anonymous

    Excellent point. Of course, it’s the legacy media that generate the news.

    So when the legacy media disappear, who will supply the news and where will people turn to get it? As for where, I doubt people will ever give up their bright shiny smartphone and tablet tinker-toys, so we’re stuck with that. And as for who, I suspect we’ll be left with a few right-wing Wall Street-centric organizations (the WSJ and FT, possibly the NYT) and a scattering of constantly shifting, changing, here-today-gone-tomorrow online sources that no one in his right mind would trust who’ll provide lots of half-baked, skewed and outright fake news that serves some fruit-bat purpose decidedly other than informing the public.

    But people won’t care because — digitally mesmerized as they are — they indeed are not in their right minds. They’ll still think they’re getting “the news” because, well, there it is, right there on the screen of their bright, shiny iPhone 32s!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.darling.5 Dave Darling

    Great. So when FaceSpace starts paying newspapers for their content this will be a bonanza for print media.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.darling.5 Dave Darling

    Great. So when FaceSpace starts paying newspapers for their content this will be a bonanza for print media.

  • Anonymous

    Most of the news produced for smartphone or tablet products today still comes from news organizations with legacy print or broadcast media that provide the bulk of their revenue. Many orgs sell digital subscriptions or bundle app subscriptions with print subscriptions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carter.craigie Carter Craigie

    What I’d like to know is who pays the writers of the news we get on our smartphones and Kindle Fires? And who does all the editing? These professionals aren’t doing all the work out of the goodness of their hearts. I think of all the far-flung news reporters, whose daily lives are full of danger, and who risk their lives so that we, back home in safe, cozy America, can know about what’s happening in the perilous posts where they search out and then write up and photograph what they witness. And I know that there are LOTS of places here in the USA where reporters and photographers work in places where danger looms big, too. How does it all happen?