Study: Facebook Is Becoming An Essential Part Of The News

Posted Oct 27, 2013

Facebook is becoming an essential part of the news for many people, according to a recent study.  The study was conducted by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with The Knight Foundation. The study concluded with 64% of U.S. adults using Facebook and nearly half of them get their news from the service.  This means that 30% of the overall U.S. population are “Facebook news consumers,” said Pew Research.

The survey also found that 78% of the group gets their news mainly when they are on Facebook for other reasons like checking on friends or sharing photos.

Pew Research Center’s director of journalism research Amy Mitchell said “People go to Facebook to share personal moments – and they discover the news almost incidentally.”

“The serendipitous nature of news on Facebook may actually increase its importance as a source of news and information, especially among those who do not follow the news closely,” she added.

Around 38% of Facebook news consumers who say that they follow the news “all” or “most of the time” describe the social network as a source for getting the news.  That number increases to 47% by people who say that they follow the news just “some of the time” or less.

“The implications for media organizations are significant – through the data they can gain insights on the behavior and preferences of the people they are trying to reach, and identify new engagement opportunities,” stated Knight Foundation vice president Mayur Patel.

Around two-thirds of Facebook news consumers say that at least sometimes they click on news link and 60% at least “like” or comment on news stories.

Around 4 in 10 people post or share links themselves at least sometimes and 32% discuss issues in the news with other Facebook users.  Facebook users click on a news link most often due to their interest in the topic or a friend’s recommendation.  Only 20% factor the news organization’s credibility.