There’s a new report from the Pew Research Center making the rounds that highlights the growing news consumption on social network.
“The share of Americans for whom Twitter and Facebook serve as a source of news is continuing to rise,” notes this article on Journalism.org.
The study “finds that clear majorities of Twitter (63%) and Facebook users (63%) now say each platform serves as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family. That share has increased substantially from 2013,” the article continues.
As D.B. Hebbard notes in Talking New Media, this has implications for news publishers, especially in light of growing on-platform news publishing with Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News and Twitter’s recently announced Project Lightning.
“Pew found that Facebook users tend to get most of their political news and views from their friends and families, while Twitter users get this information directly from news sources. This makes sense if one assumes a Twitter users is trying to follow the news as it is happening,” he writes.
“If there is a conclusion that one might wish to make, it might be that Facebook could work better for publishers as a magazine-style platform rather than one involving breaking news – something that probably could be said of Apple News, as well,” he notes.
At the very least, it changes the way news happens in America and around the world, leading Hebbard to ponder: “is social media taking over news delivery because that is where consumers want to find news, or because that is where they are finding news?”
“As more social networking sites recognize and adapt to their role in the news environment, each will offer unique features for news users, and these features may foster shifts in news use,” the Pew article continues. “Those different uses around news features have implications for how Americans learn about the world and their communities, and for how they take part in the democratic process.”
And as social networks increasingly disrupt traditional journalism, the question of a free and independent press becomes increasingly more at risk.