A Pew Research Center survey of US social media users found that more are turning to Twitter, YouTube—and even Tumblr—to get news. Twitter, for example. More Twitter users (74%) said they are getting news from the social network than said the same in 2013 (52%). But it’s not just Twitter. More people on YouTube—a platform that’s not necessarily known for news content—are also turning to the site for news. In 2013, 20% said they did.
Fast forward to 2017, and that number has increased to 32%. And news-seeking among Snapchat’s users also increased by 12 percentage points between 2016 and 2017. Separate June 2017 data from Kantar, which analyzed the social platforms US users had accessed in the past week, found that by far the highest proportion of respondents—85%—accessed news via Facebook. By contrast, 39% said they did so via YouTube and almost as many (35%) through Twitter.
So what does all this mean?
Social Media is delivering news to consumers faster than the networks can get typically break the news, get reporters to the scene and set up to broadcast. In this “I gotta have it now” world we live in, social media delivers. With smartphones and live broadcast capability, everyone has become a reporter with the capability to capture news as it breaks. The downside is social media also has been known to have a lot of “fake news” as we all know. Can you believe everything you read on social media? Even the networks have been caught taking stories from social media only to have to retract their remarks learning their stories were not true. Overall consumers are engaging social media over television go get their news. The days of Mom, Dad, and the kids sitting around watching the 5:00 p.m. newscasts over dinner is becoming a thing of the past in our fast-paced mobile society we now live in. To say that is a good or bad thing is for you to decide.