As part of an ongoing investigation into Social media and News, Pew Research Center and the John S & James L Knight Foundation recently broke down the percentage of social media users that get news from various social media sites.

The report discovered that the majority of US adults - 62 percent - source news directly from social media. Based on a similar question in 2012, 49 percent of US adults answered in the affirmative. The rise is emblematic of the shifting patterns of news consumption in the age of the internet.

Pew Research Center's most recent study was based on a survey conducted between January 12th and February 8th.

4,654 people were surveyed. Participants were asked about their habits on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr and Vine.


On Facebook, two-thirds of users get news directly from the site. With 67 percent of Americans signed up to their site, Facebook is by far the biggest social media site in the US. The two-thirds of Facebook users get their news from Facebook, which translates into 44 percent of the general population in the US that get their news from the social media giant.

Facebook's inexorable rise as a source of news consumption has presented a set of unique problems-most notably, the proliferation of "fake news". Over the coming months, it is incumbent on Facebook to create algorithms to protect users.

On Twitter, six in ten users source news directly from the site. 16 percent of the adult population in the US have an account: the percentage of people that use Twitter as a source of news translates into 10% of the general population.

Seven in ten Reddit users get news from Reddit.

Audience Cross Over

The majority of those surveyed - 64 percent - get news from one social media site, most commonly Facebook.

Just over a quarter -26 percent - get news on two and one in ten get news from three social media sites or more.

Seeking Out News Online

As a rule, Facebook and Instagram users discover stories by chance when they are scrolling through their feeds. In contrast, over half Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit users purposely seek out information on current events.

The Pew Research Center's report is an update of a 2013 report. In three years, Facebook and Reddit experienced the biggest percentage rise in users that source their news there - 19 percent and 8 percent respectively.