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Pew Use Social Platforms for News Oct2021

Along with traditional media, the public’s trust in social media as a source of news and information has declined over the past year. And, per data from Pew Research Center, fewer US adults are getting their news on social media, though some figures are still sizable (and depending on one’s viewpoint, concerning).

Close to half of the more than 11,000 US adults surveyed say they get their news on social media often (19%) or sometimes (29%). This is down slightly from the 53% of adults who often (23%) or sometimes (30%) got news on social media in 2020.

Not surprisingly given its vast reach, Facebook is the social media site that the largest portion of American adults regularly turn to get news. Two-thirds of US adults use the social media platform, while almost one-third (31%) regularly get news on the site. Women (64%) are more likely than men (35%) to regularly consume news on Facebook, with users ages 30-49 being the most likely age group to regularly get news there.

Beyond Facebook, 22% of American adults are regularly getting news on YouTube, while fewer get news regularly on Twitter (13%) and Instagram (11%).

Although the largest portion of US adults head to Facebook for news, Twitter actually sports the largest share of its users who regularly get news there. While fewer than one-quarter (23%) of Americans use Twitter, the majority of those users are getting news on the site on a regular basis. This is compared to slightly fewer than half of Facebook users and fewer than one-third of YouTube users who use these sites to regularly get news.

For the most part, the share of users of specific social media sites who regularly get their news from that site has decreased over the last year. However, one notable standout is TikTok. With more adults in the US flocking to the platform, 29% of TikTok users say they regularly get news there this year, compared to 22% who said the same last year. 

Read more here.

About the Data: Results are based on a July-August 2021 survey of 11,178 US adults.

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