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Social Media Not Yet A Viable Source Of News For Web Users

Posted on by Gareth

With all of the success stories that we read regarding the likes of Facebook and Twitter, it sometimes comes as a surprise when we discover that their growth is not as high as expect in some areas. A prime example of this phenomenon is the use of such social media websites as a means of accessing the latest news stories. It seems that US citizens, at least, do not deem social media as being a viable source for the latest news.

Social Media Sites

Facebook and Twitter have been praised and condemned in almost equal measure for their news breaking and story spreading. Social networking was almost single-handedly blamed for outbreaks of riots and praised for the overthrowing of dictatorships round the world. Celebrities take to Twitter, especially, on a regular basis in order to break news and update their followers and citizen journalism does have a tendency to rear its head on these sites.

Readers Not Using Social Media Sites

However, while Twitter and Facebook may be popular for breaking and spreading stories, they are not as popular for reading about them. Only 9% of American adults say that they use social media sites Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis to access the latest news stories. News organizations are the most popular source of online news with search engines the second most popular and aggregation sites coming in third.

Where We Consume News

Of all US adults, 36% turn to dedicated news organizations regularly for their news fix, 32% use search engines and 29% turn to news aggregation sites. The figures do rise dramatically when you consider only people that regularly read the news online. Of these, 52% consume some news on sites like Twitter and Facebook. While Facebook is more popular than Twitter, research actually shows that Twitter users believe the content they see to be more unique.

The Changing Face Of Internet Use

The way we use sites like Facebook and Twitter is changing, especially our interaction with companies and organizations on Facebook. As on the mobile Internet, apps are becoming increasingly sophisticated and news organizations are being encouraged by Facebook’s latest content sharing features to add their headline and stories to the social network.

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