All the News Worth Tweeting: The Best Social Networks for News, Ranked


We have known since at least 2018 that American news consumption has taken a turn; at the time, the Pew Research Center found that social media provided people with more information than print journalism (a trend that is only made matters worse for print newspapers(Opens in a new window)).

Pew’s latest survey on the subject, from July 2022, shows that the number of people absorbing news from social media in one way or another remains the same (91%, more or less). And for people who use Facebook regularly (70% of American adults), 31% also use it regularly to get information.

This is a slightly higher percentage than the second, YouTube. It has more regular users at 82% but fewer people use it for news. Twitter stands out: only 27% of respondents use the platform regularly, but 14% use it for news, which gives it the third place for news consumption. Instagram and TikTok take 4th and 5th place, while other services move into single digits for news reading.

A new platform included in the study this year is Nextdoor, the hyper-local social network for neighborhoods, although only 4% say they get their news there regularly.

Looking more closely at the overall percentage of users of a social media network who get their news there, Twitter leads for 2022 at 53%, followed by Facebook at 44%.

The most important trend to note is that old-guard social media numbers are declining for public news consumption. Instagram, TikTok and Twitch are booming.

Finally, Pew provides an interesting breakdown of the self-reported demographics of their panel of 12,147 respondents(Opens in a new window) for this four-day investigation. The table shows, for example, that Facebook is searched for news by more women than men, by more users between the ages of 30 and 49, and predominantly by white people. Men seem to prefer YouTube, Twitter, Reddit and LinkedIn for news.

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People who went to college stick to LinkedIn for the headlines. Young people (18-29) rely heavily on Snapchat and TikTok for news. For all social networks, more people identifying as Democrats or leaning left in their politics are using them for the news. (I wonder where the right-wing people get their info; what a mystery!)

For more information, read the full report at Pew Research(Opens in a new window).


PC Mag Logo Alternative social networks to replace Twitter, Facebook, etc.
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