More Americans get news on social media: Survey

New York, July 15 (IANS) An increasing number of people in the US are turning to Twitter and Facebook for their daily dose of news and other information, says a survey.

The survey by Pew Research Centre found that users turn to each of these prominent social networks to fulfil different types of information needs.

Majority of users (63 percent) now see Twitter and Facebook as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family.

That share has increased substantially from 2013, when about half of users (52 percent of Twitter users, 47 percent of Facebook users) said they get news from the social platforms.

Although both social networks have the same portion of users getting news on these sites, there are significant differences in their potential news distribution strengths.

The proportion of users who say they follow breaking news on Twitter, for example, is nearly twice as high as those who say they do so on Facebook (59 percent vs. 31 percent) – lending support, perhaps, to the view that Twitter’s great strength is providing as-it-happens coverage and commentary on live events.

These results come at a time when the two social media platforms are increasing their emphasis on news. Twitter is soon set to unveil its long-rumoured news feature, “Project Lightning”.

The feature will allow anyone, whether they are a Twitter user or not, to view a feed of tweets, images and videos about live events as they happen, curated by a bunch of new employees with newsroom experience.

The study said that on Facebook, women are more likely to regularly see posts about health, entertainment and people and events in their community, while posts about weather, entertainment, crime, and health are more commonly seen by women on Twitter.

When it comes specifically to news and information about government and politics, Facebook users are more likely to post and respond to content, while Twitter users are more likely to follow news organisations.

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