If they haven’t already, news organizations had better embrace social media -- and Twitter in particular -- if they want to reach young consumers.
social media news consumers report getting their news from a variety of sources -- in some cases, more so than the general public -- according to new findings from the Pew Research Center in
collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Facebook and Twitter news consumers, however, are less likely to rely on other sources (and cable news especially) than
users of YouTube, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
Most notably for news companies, the research shows that Twitter news consumers are both significantly younger than news consumers on
Google Plus LinkedIn, and even Facebook, and are among the least likely to turn to local and cable TV.
In other words, the findings suggest that the newest generation of news
consumers prefer to get their fix in bits and bites -- and on the go.
Indeed, news consumers on social-networking sites are more likely than the general public to use a mobile
device for news, including roughly half of Twitter and LinkedIn news consumers.
That said, Twitter still only makes of a small share of all news consumers. Presently, the newly public
company only reaches about 16% of U.S. adults, while only 8% of U.S. adults use it for news, by Pew’s estimate.
By contrast, about two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use Facebook;
half of them rely on the social giant for news -- rounding out to roughly 30% of the general population. YouTube reaches 51% of U.S. adults, but only a fifth of them rely on Google’s video hub
for news -- amounting to 10% of the adult population.
A clear majority (62%) of reddit users rely on the site for news, but it only reaches about 3% of the U.S. population --
translates to 2% of the population.
Conducted toward the end of August, Pew’s research included a sample pool of more than 5,000 adult respondents. The survey questionnaire was
written by Pew and administered by GfK using KnowledgePanel, its nationally representative online research panel. For each social networking site, “news consumers” were defined as those
who answered that they “ever get news or news headlines on [name of Web site].”