Social Networks Fuelling News

According to a report released by the Pew Research Centre and the Knight Foundation, news consumption on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites has increased a great deal in the last two years.

Almost two-thirds of Twitter and Facebook members that took part in a survey said they retrieved news from their social networks.

Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at Pew, said: "The main takeaway of the study is that even while the overall number of users has not changed much from 2013 to 2015, the portion of the users that are getting news in this space has increased substantially."

The social networks do however remain a secondary source of news for most members as 60% said the networks were "not a very important way" for them to get their news.

Director for strategy and assessment at the Knight Foundation, Jon Sotsky said: "Only 9 percent of Twitter people and 4 percent of Facebook people say it's the most important way that they get news, which to me implies other sources -- including more traditional sources -- are still viewed as the most important source.

"People encounter news in this space, as opposed to going there seeking news. They're going to a social network to do something else -- and when they're there, they come across news."

Researchers found about half of users between the ages of 18 and 34 said the sites were the "most important" way for them to find news.

John Carroll a mass communications director at Boston University added: "When you consider the group that is migrating toward getting their news on social media -- young people -- you're talking about people that advertisers want the most."

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