Even though Facebook has been moving away from providing its users with easy access to news over the past year, it apparently still remains a go-to source for current affairs in the US. According to Pew Research, three out of ten adults in the country still regularly get their news from Facebook, which has outpaced all the other social media websites in the center’s study. YouTube comes next in the list, with 26 percent of US adults getting news from the video hosting website, while Instagram takes third place with 16 percent. While apparently not as popular as the first three when it comes to news, TikTok (14 percent), X (12 percent) and Reddit (8 percent) also serve as news sources for the US populace.
When it was reported a year ago that Meta will no longer be paying publishers to run their content on Facebook’s News Tab, a spokesperson said “[m]ost people do not come to Facebook for news, and as a business it doesn’t make sense to over-invest in areas that don’t align with user preferences.” But according to the study, 43 percent of users still get their news regularly from the platform. That is, however, admittedly smaller than the 54 percent of users who used to go to the social network to keep themselves updated and read about the latest events back in 2020. Meanwhile, 43 percent of TikTok users say they’re getting news from the app now, compared to 22 percent three years ago. Out of all the social networks in the study, though, X (formerly known as Twitter) has the highest percentage of users (53 percent) who go to the website for news.
Based on the study’s responders, men mostly rely on Reddit to keep them abreast of current events, followed by Twitter and YouTube. Meanwhile, women consume news from Nextdoor the most, followed by Facebook and Instagram. In addition, most of the people who get their news from social media are Democrats or lean Democratic, though “there is no significant partisan difference among news consumers on Facebook, X or Nextdoor.” Bottom line is, a lot of people still look to social media websites to read about the latest happenings and new information as they come out. These companies will have to continue keeping a close eye on the spread of misinformation on their platforms, even if they do decide not to focus on news anymore.