Research shows ‘how’ and ‘why’ consumers access news on social media

The news environment on social media continues to change, along with the motivation for accessing news on social platforms.  

Research from the 2021 Digital News Report from Reuters finds that well over half of Facebook and Twitter users say they come across news in the past week, contrasted with much lower numbers for the other platforms, many of which tend to skew younger (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok).

The latest Reuters Digital News Report explored why social media news users access news on these networks and reflect their main motivations across various markets.  Twitter is seen as a primary destination for news while Facebook is where users pick up news incidentally, even though it is more widely used for news. 

YouTube and other networks like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok are more about entertainment and fun, as well as some news. The research also finds that in general, those who trust the news less are more likely to seek out alternative sources and less likely to say they pay attention to mainstream news outlets.