Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Can Facebook beat back the fake news in Ireland’s upcoming vote on abortion?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Aug. 19, 2015, 12:37 p.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: www.pewresearch.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Shan Wang   |   August 19, 2015

A study published last month confirmed what we already know: Americans across all demographics are increasingly getting their news from Facebook and Twitter. Nearly two-thirds of Facebook and Twitter users saying they use those social platforms to get news, with Twitter users particularly using it for breaking news.

But how are these users actually using the platform? How do they share news and what accounts do they follow? A new Pew snapshot susses out a few different behaviors. Not all Twitter users tweet about the news, for instance, but for those who do, nearly half their tweets on average were news-related.

Pew-Twitter-accountsfollowed-cc

When posting about news, users were more likely to retweet than write an original post. On average, news media accounts made up about 9 percent of the accounts these users followed — but tweets from these accounts constituted 23 percent of these users’ feeds.

Of these news-tweeters sampled, the most popular topics were entertainment, sports, and then government and politics:

These findings come from a small but “representative” sample: for this study, Pew followed the Twitter activity of 176 U.S. adults with publicly accessible handles during a random four-week period between August 2014 and February 2015. Its survey suggests that many Twitter users are still just sporadic posters, with most in the 176-person sample tweeting just a few times a week or less.

The full post is available here with an explanation of the methodology and the study’s limitations.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Can Facebook beat back the fake news in Ireland’s upcoming vote on abortion?
Plus: What people who like fact-checking are like, a new “digital deception” newsletter, and Facebook expands its fact-checking partnerships beyond the West.
R Vision, a digital news outlet by and for Rohingya people, aims to shed light on crisis
R Vision is run entirely by an ethnic Rohingya staff of about 25 and uses local citizen journalists to get news out from areas where media is denied access.
Should you design for addiction or for loyalty?
That depends on whether you want users or an audience.