By Angela Moon
(Reuters) – About two-thirds of American adults are getting “at least some of their news on social media” with two-in-ten doing so often, according to a Pew Research Center survey this week.
About 67 percent of American adults somewhat rely on social media platforms such as Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Snapchat for news, the survey showed, compared with 62 percent in 2016.
For the first time in the Center’s surveys, the research also found that 55 percent of Americans adults over 50 were consuming news on social media sites, up from 45 percent in 2016.
“While a small increase overall, this growth is driven by more substantial increases among Americans who are older, less educated, and non-white,” the research said.
Those under 50 years of age remained more likely than their elders to get news from these sites – 78 percent said they consume news on social media platforms, unchanged from 2016.
Facebook remained as the dominant platform for news with 45 percent of American adults saying they get news from the social media site. Alphabet Inc’s YouTube was next with 18 percent while only about 11 percent of U.S. adults said they get their news on Twitter.
The research also showed about three-quarters of non-whites or 74 percent, get news on social media sites, up from 64 percent in 2016.
Social media news use also increased among those with less than a bachelor’s degree, up 9 percentage points to 69 percent in 2017 from the previous year. Alternatively, among those with at least a college degree, social media news use declined slightly this year.
While Twitter lags far behind Facebook and YouTube in total news consumers, the site still seems to be benefiting from U.S. President Donald Trump who is one of the most active politicians on the social media platform.
Pew found that 74 percent of U.S. adults who use Twitter say they get news there, up from 59 percent of the site’s users in 2016.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Marguerita Choy)