Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Facebook News tab to shut down in the U.S.

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In todays email:

  • Featured story: Facebook News tab is going away in the U.S.
  • New from Pew Research Center: 6 facts about Americans and TikTok
  • In other news: Israel to shut down Al Jazeera’s presence in the country
  • Looking ahead: The New York Times is expanding audio news with automated article narration
  • Chart of the week: U.S. adults’ attention to news about the conflict between Israel and Hamas

🔥 Featured story

Meta will soon remove the Facebook News tab in the United States and Australia, expanding on its removal in several European countries last year. This step is part of the company’s broader effort to move away from featuring news and political content following years of debate over Facebook’s role in misinformation and political polarization.

While Facebook continues to outpace all other social media sites as a news source for Americans, there are signs that fewer Americans are getting news there. Three-in-ten U.S. adults say they regularly get news on Facebook, according to a 2023 Pew Research Center survey, down from 36% in 2020. Among U.S. Facebook users, 43% get news on the platform, down from 54% over the same period.

🚨 New from Pew Research Center

Increasing shares of U.S. adults are turning to the short-form video sharing platform TikTok in general and for news. A new Pew Research Center roundup highlights six key facts about Americans and TikTok.

Findings include:

  • A third of U.S. adults – including 62% of adults under 30 – use TikTok.
  • A majority of U.S. teens (63%) use TikTok.
  • About four-in-ten U.S. TikTok users (43%) – making up 14% of all U.S. adults – say they regularly get news there.

📌 In other news

📅 Looking ahead

The New York Times plans to offer automated audio narration on the majority of its articles, a feature debuting this week for a small share of Times users. The Times has previously had success with audio news, with nearly 1 million podcast downloads last year, according to Axios.

The share of the U.S. public listening to online audio has roughly doubled in the past decade, according to data from Edison Research. Their 2023 survey found that 70% of Americans ages 12 and older had listened to online audio in the past week, up from 36% in 2014.

📊 Chart of the week

Our chart this week highlights Americans’ attention to news about the Israel-Hamas war.

A recent Center survey shows that 22% of U.S. adults say they have been following the news about the conflict extremely or very closely, while an additional 35% are following somewhat closely. Older Americans are much more likely than their younger counterparts to say they are following news about the war closely, while Jewish and Muslim Americans also report especially high levels of attention.

Small multiple line chart showing social media sites by portion of users who regularly get news there

👋 That’s all for this week. 

The Briefing is compiled by Pew Research Center staff, including Naomi Forman-Katz, Jacob Liedke, Sarah Naseer, Christopher St. Aubin, Luxuan Wang and Emily Tomasik. It is edited by Katerina Eva Matsa, Michael Lipka and Mark Jurkowitz, and copy edited by Anna Jackson.

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