Facebook is serving another purpose these days. According to findings of a recent survey, the social networking site is now a source of news. It may come as no surprise but it could be surprising how some people could rely on their News Feeds for latest relevant news.
A new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center has found that 47% of all adult Facebook users ‘ever’ get news from the Website. The research firm said that translates to about 30% of adults in the US.
That survey was conducted from August 21 to September 2. It tapped 5,173 adult participants in the country. It found that up to 78% of people who obtain news from the social networking site don’t intentionally obtain news from Facebook. They indicated that they originally intend to visit the Website for other purposes, like checking out News Feed, reading and sending messages, chatting, or searching for people.
Source of breaking news
Many of those users think that the site could be an ideal source of breaking news even if they don’t actually seek out information. About 4% of the respondents think Facebook could be the most important and reliable way to find and obtain news.
Up to 38% of what could be considered as ‘heavy news followers’ disclosed that the site is a significant source of news for them. That compares to about 47% who follow news items less often.
Analysts think that many adults, especially the young adults, know more about happenings around the world through Facebook. This could be because most of them don’t have much time and interest to keep informed about news in various parts of the country and the world. Younger adults have ages that range from 18 years to 29 years old. According to Pew Research Center, they account for about 34% of overall news consumers in Facebook.
The incidental nature of the Website is cited for instances wherein users are exposed to news. The research firm asserts that the longer a user spends time in Facebook, the more likely he would possibly obtain news from the site.
Thus, 67% of users who log in for at least one hour each day obtain news from Facebook, while 41% of users who spend less than an hour on the site each day find news there. The most popular news stories are those pertaining to entertainment, sports, government affairs, national politics, and local or community events.