Breaking News News Research

Facebook & Twitter bloom as news platforms - tweets are still the best way to catch breaking stories


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

July 16, 2015 | 2 min read

More and more Americans are using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter as their trusted source of news.

Research from Pew indicates that a spike in news consumption on the sites was not aided by a rise in user numbers - which on both platforms have remained steady - but a greater volume of stories hitting newsfeeds.

Comparable surveys featuring 2,035 adults conducted during March 2013 and March 2015 found that 63 per cent of Twitter users were using the site as a news source, up from 52 per cent in 2013.

Facebook on the other hand surged from 47 per cent to 63 per cent – putting both social networks in deadlock.

Notably though, the real time nature of Twitter saw 59 per cent of respondents say they use it for breaking news, opposed to just 31 per cent for Facebook.

The news comes as Facebook tries to reposition itself as a primary news source with its ‘Instant Articles’ which hosts publisher’s content on the social network to cut down mobile load times – for a slice of the resulting ad revenue.

Check out the full report here.

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