Reddit users consume the most news compared with users of other social networks, according to a new study tallying the news reading trends of social media audiences. But Facebook has the largest American audience for news.
The study conducted by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Pew Research Center, available online here, analyzed data of U.S. users from Aug. 21 to Sept. 2.
Of the users on 11 different social networks tallied by the study, 62 percent of Reddit users consume news on that site, followed by Twitter users at 52 percent and Facebook users at 47 percent. Pinterest came in last place, with only 3 percent of its users consuming news stories on that site. This may reflect how well-designed the social networks are for sharing news reporting, but the user base of those sites also shows the size of the audiences for news posted on those platforms, the study explains.
Though it's the newsiest site, just 3 percent of U.S. adults 18 years of age or older access Reddit, whereas Facebook reaches the largest social networking audience for news because 64 percent of U.S. adults use it. YouTube comes in second place, thanks to it's widespread use in America - approximately 51 percent of U.S. adults use YouTube - translating to 10 percent of U.S. adults getting their news from the site. Twitter comes in third place, with 8 percent of U.S. adults reading news on that social network, based on the 16 percent of adults accessing the site.
The Internet has immense potential to spread conversation and updates about current events but print and broadcast news industries are still a prized resource for social network users to keep up with world events and hot topics, the study says. News consumers on YouTube, LinkedIn and Google Plus are more likely than Facebook and Twitter news consumers to watch cable news or read a print newspaper. Meanwhile, Twitter news consumers are the least likely to watch local and cable TV news, the study says.