October 5, 2012

Social Networking Sites Grow as a Source of News

19%

The number of Americans saying they saw news or news headlines on social networking sites the previous day increased from 9% in 2010 to 19%

The explosive growth of social networking sites has been a significant contributor to the online search for news, with the percentage saying they saw news or news headlines on social networking sites the previous day increasing from 9% in 2010 to 19%.

The other factor driving an increase in the number of Americans who get news digitally is the greater use of mobile devices in recent years.

This has changed the landscape when it comes to how news is consumed. While the percentage of Americans who regularly go online for news – those who get news online three days a week or more – has not increased, those who regularly get news on a cell phone, tablet or other mobile device has nearly doubled since 2010, from 9% to 15%, and the number seeing news on social network sites three days a week or more has almost tripled, from 7% to 20%.

In the shifting online landscape, the use of mobile devices and social networking sites have replaced a traditional tool — search engines — as the driver of growth in finding news online. Search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo continue to be the largest single tool in finding news online, but the substantial growth in their use between 2008 and 2010 has leveled off. Read More